[Originally published May 9, 2006.]

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Great opening hook, but do you need 96-point Garamond for the S? Kind of feels like you’re padding the page count.

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Truly felt I got to know Leopold (Poldy?). Nitpicky, logistical question: Is this really how people think?

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“Snotgreen” = hyphenated.

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Show us how these characters process memory, language, abstractions, and the urban landscape through stream of consciousness, don’t just tell us.

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More commas, please.

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Stephen comes off a little unsympathetic. I remember you used him in a previous story—maybe you could integrate some of that material here?

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Unclear where and when this is set.

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Caught some allusions to The Odyssey. Nice.

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Proper punctuation for dialogue is double quotes, not em dashes.

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Balked a bit at some of Molly’s “sexier” thoughts, which read like male fantasy. You can do better than this, Jim.

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Think you accidentally stapled in something from your playwriting workshop for Ch. 15.

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The voice reminds me of the story “Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People” from Lorrie Moore’s Birds of America. Read it?

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“History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” So true.

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Everything Buck said had me LOL—hilarious character! Where do you come up with this stuff?

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Kick-ass work, JJ, but way too long. Have you considered turning this into a short-short?

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Noticed schematic chapter variations in literary technique, bodily organ, artistic subject, color, and symbol—really complex stuff. It’s obvious you spent a while on this one.

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I normally appreciate your extravagant wordsmithing, but got the sense here that you wore out the Shift+F7 keys (i.e., thesaurus). “Honorificabilitudinitatibus”? What, are you trying to impress that girl Nora?

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I think you can push the experimentation even further in your next piece. Remember last week after workshop, when we got trashed on Guinness and came up with the ludicrous idea of a 700-page novel that puns every few words on the name of a river? Maybe there’s something to that.

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Typo: last word capitalized.