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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha

The time has come to reveal to the world the novel I've been writing in secret. I don't want to boast, but I suspect it will be a runaway bestseller, a literary sensation. It presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of the Vatican's most celebrated Swiss Guards.

Teaser - Synopsis:

Chapter 1: Wherein we meet our hero, in the 1930s, child of a poor Alpine goatherd. Possessed of ethereal blond beauty, his most striking feature is (pay attention, this is important) a pair of flashing coal-black eyes.

Umm - reality check? you say. I've never seen someone blond and Swiss with coal-black....look, it's a novel. Fiction. Geddit? Who's the one getting calls from Oprah here?

Chapter 2-3: Wherein our hero loses home, parents, siblings, in unusually rapid succession, without the help of tsunamis, earthquakes or any other disasters. But, somewhere amidst all this, he has a random encounter with The Pope. The Pope gets a full wattage, 5-second freeze frame of our hero's (pay attention, this is important) flashing coal-black eyes.

Chapters 4 - 16: Our hero-victim finds himself in military school for the Swiss Guards. Persecuted by a vicious headmaster, bullied by the idolized and powerful headboy, he nevertheless demonstrates exceptional aptitude for the intricacies of puffed sleeves, knickerbockers, and sword balancing. Don't snigger - getting the hose of knickerbockers smooth is an ancient and demanding art. The angle and degree of puffage carry subtle erotic messages, codified over centuries (Hint: Back Of The Knee).

At the nadir of his apprenticeship, a prominent guard from another House suddenly takes our hero under his wing. Cinderella? Never heard of it. I don't know what you mean. This plot is uniquely original, OK? You're just jealous because I came up with it first.

Chapters 16 - 19: Our hero is presented to the public (within the cloistered confines of the Vatican). We follow him through the elaborately mannered rituals of his profession, and the various reactions to his flashing coal-black eyes.

Chapters 19 - 24: A fierce bidding war erupts among powerful men of unspecified profession for the prize of our hero's virginity. The drama! The backstabbing rivalries! The tortuous twists and manipulations! The markets in options and futures! The coy euphemisms! The prurient details of genital minutiae! The moment-by-moment description of the deflowering! The millimeter-by-millimeter removal of the knickerbockers!!

This section of the book is the one I take greatest pride in. It's no exaggeration to say that these five chapters are the apex of my craft as a writer. There were moments I completely lost myself in the power of the story - until I had to get it together to wipe the drool off my keyboard.

Chapters 25 - 34: Our hero encounters The Pope again. The Pope compliments him on the elegance of his knickerbocker management. World War II comes and goes in a few pages. A couple of hundred thousand people get slaughtered, but our hero suffers chiefly from the interruption of quality laundering for his knickerbockers. Different Cardinals vie for our hero's favors, but his longing for the Pope is unwavering.

Chapter 35: Our hero turns 25, and is no longer of interest to anyone, including his creator (myself) and the knickerbocker designers. The Pope sets him up in a little chocolate shop off the Via Veneto. Over the years, he develops a reputation for fine tartuffo, and a certain lingering je ne sais quois around the back of the knee.

My novel will take you into a world where appearances are paramount. A world which few outsiders have ever penetrated. Where a boy's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where winsome lads are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as an illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fetishism - er - fiction: at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful - and completely unforgettable.

Customised photo stamps coming soon. Gotta go - that's Spielberg on the line.


Anonymous Shyamala said...

Shailja, thanks for the amusing commentary! After reading your daft breakdown, I knew there was a reason I never had bothered to read "Memoir of a Geisha"! Her blue eyes have certainly been annoying me from the billboards. I think your Swiss Guard sounds much more tantilizing....

1/02/2006 9:58 PM  
Anonymous SMS said...

I liked reading the book - but this was funy. Thanks for sharing

1/03/2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Brett said...

In the spirit of Memoirs of a Geisha, when Spielberg does contact you, he will undoubtedly refuse to use any Swiss actors in the film. Perhaps German, Swedish, American actors, but definitely no Swiss.

1/04/2006 10:13 AM  
Blogger shailja said...

Yeah, but they'll all have to fake Swiss cheese-ey accents :-)

1/04/2006 12:49 PM  
Anonymous pina piccolo said...

hey Shailja,
maybe on the heels of "The Da vinci Code" you can find a niche for your Vatican exoticist new novel. Certainly Edward Said would have liked it

4/09/2006 2:39 PM  
Blogger shailja said...

Said is one of my heroes! You just made my day :-)

4/10/2006 10:50 AM  

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