from Chapter E
by Christian Bök

copyright © Christian Bök, 2001


Enfettered, these sentences repress free speech. The
text deletes selected letters. We see the revered exegete
reject metred verse: the sestet, the tercet – even les
scènes élevées en grec
. He rebels. He sets new precedents.
He lets cleverness exceed decent levels. He eschews the
esteemed genres, the expected themes – even les belles
lettres en vers
. He prefers the perverse French esthetes:
Verne, Péret, Genet, Perec – hence, he pens fervent
screeds, then enters the street, where he sells these let-
terpress newsletters, three cents per sheet. He engen-
ders perfect newness wherever we need fresh terms.

Relentless, the rebel peddles these theses, even when
vexed peers deem the new precepts ‘mere dreck.’ The
plebes resent newer verse; nevertheless, the rebel per-
severes, never deterred, never dejected, heedless, even
when hecklers heckle the vehement speeches. We feel
perplexed whenever we see these excerpted sentences.
We sneer when we detect the clever scheme – the emer-
gent repetend: the letter E. We jeer; we jest. We express
resentment. We detest these depthless pretenses – these
present-tense verbs, expressed pell-mell. We prefer
genteel speech, where sense redeems senselessness.