Some Notes on the Inflection of Lobster

This story was published in the summer 2014 issue of The Pedestal Magazine. It is the oldest, and strangest of my fictional works.

Written back in 2000, on the island of Crete, Some Notes on the Inflection of Lobster is essentially an exercise in deception, a treatise on the philosophy of language (in homeopathic dose), a lost text from a hypothetical future in which the world has become overgrown, has become a wilderness of grammatical variation, and (though it was not known to the author at the time) the staging post for a larger campaign which took up most of that fall and resulted in a larger book.

Many years passed and this story survived- incredibly enough, in only one paper copy left in a desk drawer.

In the interim, I had not completely forgotten about it, but I did not try to ‘move’ it either, as I did not expect any real audience. Different colleagues made differing attempts to guess what exactly it was, as a textual specimen, but never with much success. So, when I submitted it to The Pedestal Magazine in late 2013, it was entirely without expectations. Luckily, the magazine’s editor, John Amen, found the story to be an exact fit for some other interesting genre-bending works they were preparing at the time.

So, the moral of this story, I suppose, is that if you are setting out to be ahead of your time, just make sure to forget about yourself for long enough afterwards so that eventually becoming current can be enjoyed as a delightful surprise.

The finished formatting of the story was done, for technical reasons, with hyperlinked endnotes rather than the original footnotes. Fourteen years ago, I would not have even known what that meant, or what a hyperlink was.

Anyhow, from the notebook the printed version used footnotes, as the subterranean level provided by footnotes on a page allows the visual presentation of unstable foundations upon which our understood perceptions of the world are set; the undermining effect of that which transpires in the lower level has a ruinous effect on the upper level, and the best way to demonstrate what this means is to simply refer readers to the original layout, which is why I have uploaded the original, surviving copy here.

Readers seeking to understand better the story Some Notes on the Inflection of Lobster may also consider reading stories like Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius by Jorge Luis Borges, and perhaps the linguistics textbook, Greek: A History of the Language and Its Speaker by Geoffrey Horrocks.