A Selection from the Posthumously Published Ernest Hemingway Choose-Your-Own-Adventure,
A Very Short Death, ca. 1959
It was late summer and you were alone in the café. You were sipping vermouth and reading about the war. You liked the way the vermouth tasted good when you drank it with your mouth. The war was going badly.
You tapped your tired fingers on the arm of the wooden chair where you were sitting in the café when it was dark and late. You liked how the chair was made of wood.
“Oh darling, you mustn’t talk such rot,” she had said.
“I’ll kill him.”
You felt broken and drunk in the cool night and remembered the white boat on the river.
A. Grit teeth and think about the war.
B. Order a brandy that overflowed and ran down the stem of the glass and think about the war.
C. Notice the electric light hanging over the empty terrace and think about the war.
A Selection from the Unfortunately Abandoned William Faulkner Choose-Your-Own-Adventure,
The Lost and the Vanquished, c. 1931
“Yessum,” Anna had said, in that time where she felt like a very young woman, having only just realized she had come from what might be called a race, what the Lord’s law required her to call a family.
Papa was smoking his blind hard pipe on the ancient porch, humming a song mother had taught him. Summer after summer, the uncertain house built without nails had remained solid as rock, rigidly guarding the county lines like a single, bleached sentinel, sending its ponderable silhouette to the furthest rung of the Alabama earth; sulking, mewing, judicate of time, wellspring and end of grace.
“Think of the folks down the hill,” Papa said. Ellie was broken up in the barn crying about the negro who had broken his leg twisted under Papa’s plow.
A. Cough silently in the sheen of the brightly burning lamb.
B. Cut your thumb on Stuart’s knife.
A Selection from the Long-Suppressed
Henry Miller Choose-Your-Own-Adventure,
Moloch-Exus, ca. 1934
You stand on the second hand of a clock and ravage the next thousand years. The entire world crumbles in front of your big prick, the dawn breaking on a broken world of your creation, and you send up a prayer demanding more light.
In the window across from you, a woman stands knock-kneed with her cunt pushed forward, holding the edge of her dress with greasy fists. Marvelous if she were to suddenly fall through the glass! Dream of the men bleeding from their feet on the sidewalk below, their frock coats dragging through the splinters!
You have found God in His burning bush and have risen from the ashes beneath its branches. You are in a sore struggle with the French girl, but it isn’t possible for you to last with her crying and her mumbling: oh, c’est bon!
You think about how the stars have exploded, and the birds that came from the death of the heavens are not as free as you.
A. Swallow the confusion which nourishes the artist and makes him madly inhuman, and come.
B. Come, and stare at your crumpled pants.
A Selection from the Recently Discovered
Jack Kerouac Choose-Your-Own-Adventure,
Bop Affirmation, ca. 1955
You’re trudging in the river bottom sand when zoooom, there goes a flatbed truck and you’re suddenly on the back of the truck with two Nebraska farm boys and you’re weeping, “Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-s,” yes to the blue swing swing of the Bird, yes to Charlie Parker, that shimmering saxophone, yes to the original mind, yes to this uncompromising romp through the heartland, you who labored on the railroad with crimson sun on your back, you who know the palabra, you who look right into the blowin’ breeze and cry and moan and shout
A. Discover a rainbow.
B. Go off to pick oranges with the Mexican girl.
C. Sing in a rising crescendo, “Y-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-s.”