Some Notes on “Last Screening of A Hoax Cantata”


This week brings with it the third story of mine to be published in the past month. I was asked by Nicholas Rombes to contribute a story related to film for his month-long residency at Necessary Fiction. What I came up with is a short work called “Last Screening of A Hoax Cantata.

Everything about it seemed truncated: there was a ghost of a note in the opening credits that seemed absent; the title itself — A Hoax Cantata — hovered a beat too briefly, the text wavering and elliptical. Maybe that was what first drew us to it: its damage; the unknown names; the fact that it always seemed to exist in a hazy VHS world, a dub of a dub of a dub even in its first generation.

If “An Old Songwriter’s Trick” was my film-school story, this is my story about stumbling one’s way into becoming an enthusiast for something weird. I’d also love to do an annotated version of this, as there are a couple of odd references embedded in it, some of which may not make sense to anyone but me. But, yeah — it’s a kind of love letter to falling in love with music and books and films that were passed down via flawed copies, and all of the weirdness that came along with that. 

You can read the whole thing here, if you’re so inclined.

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