Journal Entry: Novel Opener

Journal entry, 19 Messidor 223: Justice Minotaur was encamped on a local drumlin all of last week working on what he calls “the greatest American novel.” He explained, “Though I am New Salemite rather than American, it sounds better to talk about the composition being the greatest American novel, since we live in North America, after all, and since the consensus best New Salemite novel to this point, Qeefeman’s imaginary tale about a tribe of miniature Cro-Magnon men living in our own time in the hump of a camel, was called ‘comprehensively atrocious’ by the author’s own mother.” When Minotaur returned home and was asked by Mr. Cornwall about how the writing effort had gone, Minotaur produced a dewy wrapper from a king-size candy bar on the inside of which was written in thick strokes: “Tish Tosh they called her, because her name was Tish and she was a tosher–so poor that her shoes were made of fruit leather.” This beginning is all that Minotaur had produced in seven days’ labor.


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