Bertrand Fugue
12 Dandelion Gardens
London
July 14th 2003

Dear Author,

Re: My forthcoming review of your recent literary debut

Apologies for this unsolicited correspondence, but I should warn you that my review of your debut novella Tapping, Tapping, Jumping is due to be published in the next issue of Les Margins, the postmodernist literary review. (I have included the text of my review in a footnote to this letter.)

Don’t be intimidated by my name. For while it is true, as Gibbert the art scholar quipped of me, that I can make or break a writer’s career with more certainty than an atomic warhead, rest assured that I intend to make – and not break – yours. Hence my warning.

I think it unlikely that you have prepared yourself for the hurly-burly life of a rising literary star. But that is what lies ahead of you Filigree (provided you can stay away from the Germans).

In short, the attached review is set to propel you to new heights. Your seniors will beg for your ear, distant cousins will curry your favor, young ladies of all persuasions will hang upon your every word, and, doe-eyed by the time you’re done, will simply ask for more.

A multitude is set to feed upon your thoughts. If you have any outside commitments, I suggest you sever them immediately – you simply won’t have time. Brace yourself. I have commanded the floodgates to open. No need to thank me.

Young man, did you know that your world is about to be turned on its head?

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my dear wife, Juniper, at this address, as I haven’t been myself lately.

Yours Sincerely,

Bertrand Fugue


Tapping, Tapping, Jumping
By Filigree Johnson

Review by Bertrand Fugue

It gives me great pleasure, qua leading critic, to introduce Les Margins readers to a new writer of enormous promise and undoubted ability. Tapping, Tapping, Jumping, Filigree Johnson’s debut novella (Black Banana Press) is a work of such in-sight, (fore)-sight, and pre-perceptual postmodernism, that this reviewer is all-most at a loss for word(s).
Johnson’s d(ark) tale of Noah’s life and career is a book worth waiting for –even if it’s true that no one has heard of this writer before (surely something that is set to change in the very near future, at least for readers of this column). We may not have waited for this novella then, but I’m glad we did.
Johnson’s vignette of Noah’s work on the Ark is truly original. The opening scene, in which Noah battles with his wife over the projected extent of the coming floods has a kitchen-sink/jew-greek nous that indicates an author capable of profound psych-e-ological insight and philosophical je ne sais (pour) quoi.
Added to that, the fact that Johnson can sustain dialogue between Noah’s animals entirely in animal sounds for twenty and thirty pages at a time, and it’s clear that Johnson is a master of his craft, as the following (ex)cerpt demonstrates:

“Moo”, said one of the cows.
“Cluck. Cluck. Cluck, cluck”, said one of the chickens.

[I almost wept at this point, readers -BF]

“Hssss”, said the snake.

I am utterly convinced that future students of literature will speak of a Johnsonesque style marked by minimalism, futural-objective speculation and cosmic ennui. And it is to lines like these that they will turn.
Johnson’s detailed observations of life for the Noah’s is marked by a tendency to be more brilliant than is typically required in modern writing. (This reviewer for one, hopes that this brilliance does not become a handicap later in life, when these things often spur (un)pleasant feelings and re-criminations.)
Who but Johnson would have imagined an ancient sailing vessel made entirely of papyrus? Who but Johnson would entertain and delight so wonderfully on his publishing debut? Who but Johnson would have Noah berate (g)od with the words ‘Pansy!’? Who but Johnson, indeed!
Worthy of special mention is the delicate nature in which the author treated Noah’s eventual suicide. This, I am sure, has proven to be some consolation to Noah’s wife, who at time of writing has not been seen for several centuries and is presumed dead.
Qua modest scribe, the day this little book fell into my lap will always be remembered fond(ly). Where Kierkegaard struggled with the either and the or, and Nietzsche struggled not only with his I’s and his T’s, but also with his good and his evils, Johnson suffers from no debilitating aphasias, which portends well for his forthcoming career.
Highly, piously, recommended.

(Entry by Emmet Cole)