Rhys Hughes’ Denemonisation in 2002

Having stumbled upon it today, here is Rhys Hughes’ interesting ‘speech’ published in ‘Nemonymous Two’ (2002)  about his story “All For Nothing” being accepted for ‘Nemonymous One’ (2001) under its terms of late-labelling:

<<The concept behind ‘Nemonymous’ is perfect. The moment I understood it, I realised I would never know peace unless I succeeded in getting a story into the first issue. It had to be the first issue. Beating faceless and unknown competitors to remain faceless and unknown myself is a struggle entirely in tune with the political climate of the 21st Century, in which secret bureaucracies wage war on stateless nihilists. I am pleased my efforts bore fruit. Privileged anonymity is a nice paradox, with a strange emotional flavour. I have enjoyed it, courtesy of my story ‘All For Nothing’. And yet, this confession is a relief.

In the spirit of the project, I tried to wrongfoot the ‘Nemonymous’ editor. I sent him four stories under different names. Two were pink herrings, more bloodless than red, designed to throw him off my real scent. I deliberately submitted an inappropriate story, longer than the specified maximum wordcount, under my true name. I hoped this would deceive him into thinking that I was out of the game. Unless there is a double bluff going on here, I believe it worked. I offered the story ‘All For Nothing’ under the name of a close friend, Floriana Ribeiro. I tried to write like her. I pretended to be a girl while I added the words to the page. I disapproved of fighting and imagined that I was beautiful. I tried to be sweet and sharp at the same time. I flicked imaginary long blonde tresses back over my shoulders. I did not go so far as to wax off any pubic hair, but I am certainly saving that option for another time.

There are many excellent writers in the Portuguese language. I should like to mention Iorge Amado and Machado de Assis. My problem is that I do not speak Portuguese and miss many of the nuances of the works of these writers. ‘All For Nothing’ was inspired by the excellent novels of both gentlemen, but any sense of exotic mystery which my tale may convey (if it does) probably owes more to the quirks of translation, which often distorts and stains, than to their original visions. Yet I still maintain that both writers are simultaneously colourful and enigmatic, a combination as wondrous and tropical as the coolness which comes when lips seared by Orange Aji chillies are dipped in cold golden beer. I like that.>>

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5 responses to “Rhys Hughes’ Denemonisation in 2002

  1. Here is the equivalent Rhys Hughes’ speech in Nemonymous Three (2003) about his story ‘Climbing The Tallest Tree In The World’ from ‘Nemonymous Two’:

    “(1) I believe I am the only contributor to have appeared in the both the first and second issues of ‘Nemonymous’. For me, therefore, the condition of nemonymity has become not just a privilege but a habit.
    (2) In an age where Orwell’s Big Brother is an authentic role model, the vision of the editor of ‘Nemonymous’ is quite remarkable. He has given us a taste of freedom. Despite the increasing sophistication of surveillance equipment and techniques, I doubt that the CIA, KGB or any other intelligence agency was aware that I was responsible for composing ‘Climbing The Tallest Tree In The World’.
    (3) I have always admired the work of the author Italo Calvino. In his early career he perfected the art of the ‘raccontini’, little offbeat fables. My own story was an attempt to emulate one of these. In particular I sought to capture some of the atmosphere and mood of ‘The Man Who Shouted Teresa’, a typical example of Calvino’s youthful style.”

  2. For Rhys Hughes completists, here is a review by him in 2000 that appeared originally on my website:

    http://etepsed.wordpress.com/rhys-on-best-of-dfl-2000/

  3. And one of the Rhys Hughes fiction collaborations with me – THE QUEST OF THE MOUTHER: published in ‘Visions’ 1997: http://etepsed.wordpress.com/249-2/

  4. And another: A SORT OF RUNIC RHYME: published in ‘Ocular’ in 1998: http://dflcollaborations.wordpress.com/64/

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