The you-know-where has been abuzz with speculation on the novella in quasi-dramatic form that Wallace Runnymede is due to self-publish in the near future.
(Well, June, actually. But then, why should Wallace Runnymede tell you the exact date at this stage? That would spoil all the fun; or Wallace Runnymede’s fun, in any case; which is not an entirely inconsequential consideration, after all).
However, the Malign-Forces-of-International-Creative-Transparency-Fundamentalism may be somewhat disappointed, that Wallace Runnymede’s first fairly lengthy work will be released under a pseudonym, and not under his real name.
Yes: the author is Wallace Runnymede, of wallacerunnymede.com fame-and-note-quite-fortune. (Did I get that the right way around?)
This blog is not quite viral yet, but they may be, at least, rather virulent, for some. In any case, “The Great Flâneur Massacre” could perhaps be best described by the blurb.
What happens when the “objects of study” start becoming subjects, and talking back to their enlightened benefactors?
Is such incomprehensible arrogance and hubris something that can ever be tolerated within the Olympian heights of the ivory tower?
Who are you to tell your benefactor that their conspicuous benevolence is somehow inappropriate?
Who are you to doubt their self-evident sincerity?
How much more so, their evidently superior intellect and knowledge?
The Great Flâneur Massacre does not promise to answer these questions for you. However, this viciously satirical account of a disastrous “postmodern humanitarian” academic conference does, at least, avow one humble micropolitical aspiration:
To shine a light on the pompous pretentions and condescending paternalism to which all scholars in the humanities, at one time or another, are subject.
From the intrusive concern Stamp Rhodes shows for the “exotic” inhabitants of Shangri-La, to the patronising baby-talk of Helena Smotherington and the self-conscious “privilege-checking” of Stepton Coker, no-one’s critical practice (in the end) is found worthy of the grand, noble and ever elusive title of “innocent.”
Indeed: not even the world’s most notable edgy humanitarian radical performance artist, “Klubber Bonez,” can save his global justice collaborators from a fate worse than a superficially glowing review from the “mainstream media,” or (Foucault forbid!) a missed tenure opportunity.
Still, such is only to be expected. For as the notable intellectual figure Skinner Green informs us:
“The Greater Good and The Public Interest are grander and more glorious clarion calls to obedience than the merely subjective private opinions of the crude and uneducated Herd.”
I wish I could say that this novella will make the fortune of Wallace Runnymede, and see him through the final year-and-a-bit of his PhD. Yet sadly, the novella is likely to be low in price; but I hope that it will be rich in vitriol….
Or at least, in amusement.
Be that as it may.
Wallace Runnymede does not take his club to the objects of his satire.
A club is a rather blunt instrument, after all.