Nkosi Ife Bandele

That N-Word’s Crazy!

Many apologies, my adoring dawgz, but I can get so caught up with the teaching that I forget, more or less, that I am primarily a “storyteller” (though my students might say, “All you do is tell stories all day, motherfucker!“) Anyway, my latest story, a lil fuck story titled in fact “Fuckity-Fuck-Fuck-Fuck” (http://www.akashicbooks.com/fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck-by-nkosi-ife-bandele/) appears in Akashic Books’ short fiction series. It’s short and silly, so have a look and a giggle. By the way, I’ve decided on “storyteller” because that’s essentially what I do, feel like the word “writer” implies too much, and I’m not sure I wanna be that anymore, gave that up long ago.

I recently watched an interview with Ralph Ellison, “The Novel—Ralph Ellison on Work in Progress (1966),” on You Tube and find myself grappling with what Ellison contends about the writer assuming the role of political spokesperson.  Ellison insists that the creative writer lacks the “discipline” for such a position, that a writer just sorta “floats” around.  I’m pretty sure that Ellison was taking, and yet!, another pot shot at Baldwin and Wright (whom he aced with his Invisible Man) and ironically the Black Nationalist types such as Baraka (who previously aced him with his Blues People), but his harsh words (and he says them with such disgust in his voice as to tremble!) may apply to past me when I thought to do more than I was capable of as a writer.  Honestly, I know so very little about the world around me.  What a bizarre spectacle it is besides!  I’m focusing on my own stories now, my own fictionalized experiences, hence, “I live it and I write it down” and trying to render their essential truths.  And that’s what words can really do, render the essential truth.  In that way, language is so fabulously reductive and expansive.  Cutting away from the actuality while at the same time enlarging what may be crucial to understand.  Oh, but there I go waxing about ideas.  It’s all about the story.

That said, Crimson Cloak Publishing is finishing up with my novel “The Ape is Dead!” and it looks like it will launch in June 2016.  It’s good, (I think), and I’m hella-excited, and I will keep you up.


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