My Off-Guardian article about Locus Amoenus & Co\/id-1984, The Musical goes viral

Just before the anniversary of 9/11 this year, I wrote and article for the Off-Guardian about how literary works can be useful for neutralizing the brainwashing effects of propaganda. Please click over to Off-Guardian to read it and come back when you’re done.

As most of my readers know, my 2015 novel, Locus Amoenus, which was nominated for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize (by the publisher, don’t get too excited), retells the story of Hamlet as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist.  It’s a high comedy, written to lure in the Atlantic Monthly subscriber, to trap the Vanity Fair reader with my erudite and clever prose. Once inside the story, I have them.  They cannot unsee the scenes I paint.

Eight years later, I’ve written the sequel; Hamlet takes off one mask and puts on another, that of Winston Smith.  That novel has been sitting on someone’s desktop since March of 2023 at Skyhorse Publishing.  It’s not that I haven’t heard from them.  I have.  We’ve spoken about publishing it a number of times.  It’s complicated.

In the Off-Guardian. article, I mention the fact that the actor who did the audiobook of Locus Amoenus, Ben Jorgensen, was suicided by the lockdowns, and I started the new novel, CoVld-1984, The Musical, with him in mind as the speaker, now playing Orwell’s antihero.  In honor of Ben, I offered the audiobook download for free.  2,300 people downloaded it over the course of a few days.

That article was picked up and reposted by dozens of sites, but translations of it were especially popular in Italy and Slovakia.

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