Friday, 7 September 2012

Letter to the Agent

Dear _____

I received last week a letter refusing representation by your agency, based on the excerpt of my novel Dennis & the Dictaphone. Permit me to explain some of the intricacies of my work in case my intentions were unclear. Firstly, this is an “audiovisual novel”—portions of the text are dictated to the reader (left blank on the page), while other portions are dictated by the reader, forcing the reader to complete various sections for his/herself (using their own pens or computers). The audio effect would be achieved by the inclusion of small audiophonic devices in the text (as in birthday cards, etc).  Also, with each book a free Dictaphone would be issued, containing another novel co-written by five anonymous writers and read by five anonymous actors. The reader’s task is to trace which portions of the novel are written by myself and therefore form an extension of D&tD—the second half has been left blank for this purpose. It is so also unclear from the except I sent that, from p400 onward, most of this novel is written in anagrams, forcing the reader to rearrange the words to decrypt their meanings in the original Greek. I also want to make clear the intricacies in the typography of my novel. Every letter Y after page 67 should flash yellow, every letter V should turn from purple to black. I also want to achieve a “lava lamp” effect on page 628, where a kaleidoscope of colours moves across the text in an ocular swirl. This is achievable with some strategic backlighting on the preceding page. I have received written encouragements from both Jeremy Irons and David Markson (the latter made when he was alive) to publish this text, so I believe it expedient on your side to take another look at the MS. Let’s see if we can make this work.


Callum Hersh


  1. Wonderful! I'm still giggling over the flashing yellow Y and the lava lamp effect on page 628.