Momus, in case you didn’t know, is a Scottish musician with an eyepatch whose interests, according to Wikipedia, include identity, Japan, Rome, the avant-garde, time travel and sex. He almost had a hit in 1987 with “Hairstyle of the Devil” and has been doing his bizarre thing ever since. In 1998, he graced the “so-called Eclectic House” with his presence and fortunately for us kids, he wrote this spectacular account.
Although he (jokingly?) refers to Wes as the University of Connecticut, his description of our “Oasis of distilled hedonism”, our “self-righteous, temporary, trust-funded student escapism” may be more on point. From Eclectic, he proceeds to Womanist House, where he muses on identity politics and our “pseudo-liberal, politically correct puritanism.”
You probably didn’t notice, but just hours ago one of our trained bonobo typists churned out a piece about Amanda Palmer’s current project. In a completely separate Internet adventure, I stumbled upon a December interview with Daniel Handler ’92, another ’90s alum who’s involved in a musical project you’ve likely heard [about] and bears a well-documented fondness for dark humor.
Check out the interview at the well-named Fictionaut Blog, where the Reigning World Champion of Literary Handleage gives short and sweet responses to six questions spanning his current work, the creative process, and why he derives a different kind of pleasure from playing the accordion than writing prose. Here’s a brief snippet on why he thinks the idea of a likeable character is rather silly:
… character is bunk. There is plot, and there is voice, and they conspire to create an illusion we call “literature.” It is a glorious illusion and a compelling one. When a writer tells me they’re worried about a character they usually mean there’s a flaw in the plot, or the prose just isn’t pulling things together.
For more on the writer, the musician (he’s recorded with The Magnetic Fields), and the legend, might I recommend the following: