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"It all began with my career in mining1," he said, sipping casually from the carton of Chibuku Shake Shake2.
She nodded, frantically taking notes, trying to capture every nuance of his words. This was her big chance, the moment that would make or break her in the journalism world. A mere rookie such as her, interviewing a man like him!4 It was exhilarating. As a girl she had long dreamed6 of an event like this, but had never believed it would actually happen. She remembered the day long ago when she'd told her father of her journalistic aspirations.

It had been a warm day in late June, she'd been 12, or possibly 275, she was no longer sure. Having just seen an old 8mm home recording of a man falling down the stairs looped for 3 hours she ran into the sun lounge, bursting with excitement,
"Vater! Ich bin eine toten hunde!" she yelled, for she had not yet learned to never speak German.
"No dear, you cannot be a journalist, you must follow in the family footsteps", her father replied. His terse response shocked her, and she burst into tears9.
"Quod est demonstrandum. I use the Latin because I'm an ass," said her father.
"Voulez vous couchez avec moi. I use the French because you're an ass," she replied10, suddenly realising how to speak languages other than German. What came next was to be one of the defining moments of her life, though she didn't realise it at the time.

After the interview was complete348 and he had left she pulled her bag onto the table, fumbled through it, drew out the novel she was reading. Pulp trash, airport bookstore special, but it entertained her. She turned to the dog-eared page she'd left at and resumed reading.
'"It all began with my career in mining1," he said, sipping casually from the carton of Chibuku Shake Shake2.
She nodded, frantically taking notes, trying to capture every nuance of his words. This was her big chance, the moment that would make or break her in the journalism-'13 she put the book down, bored already. She didn't have the focus to read right now, she was too full of adrenaline. A book would have to offer her the secrets of the universe14 to hold her attention right now. What she needed was to hunt, she needed to run across the baked flats of the Masai Mara, bring down a gazelle, feel the warm blood flow. If only she didn't live in uptown New York, she thought, cursing her cosmopolitan life style. This was what she got for moving to live nearer to Bob Dylana.
Would this horror ever end, she wondered sullenly24, 25. There was really only one way to find out, she would26






1Translator's note: In the original Basque3 edition of this text an ambiguous phrase is used here which can be translated either as "career in mining" or "violent hatred of whores". This is an intentional pun, revolving around the similarity of the words for a deep cavernous mine and a hooker's genitalia. Whilst both translations are equally valid, the context suggests that the mining is the preferential form in which to render it for the English reader.27
2Chibuku Shake Shake is a popular beer in Zimbabwe sold in Tetrapak style cartons. It is so named because of the need to shake the carton before consuming. The drink is made from Sorghum and is relatively unheard of outside southern Africa, primarily due to its vileness.
3Editor's note to the third edition: This text has never been published in the Basque language16 and it is unknown what the translators of the first edition were referring to in this note, or indeed why the English edition of a text first printed in English required translators.
4It is never stated who this figure is, but contemporary critics believe it to be a veiled reference to either Martin Luther King or Immanuel Kant. See Guthrie and Tannhauser21, An Analysis of Modern Metropolitan Oligarchies for further discussion of this.
6JT: Dreams. I remember when I had dreams. The last one I had was just after I started reading this damn book. I was walking down the stairs at the back of the shop, carrying a tray of ink. The stairs were close and claustrophobic19, and I could feel something behind me. Its breath was warm and thick on the back of my neck and I broke into a run. I felt something touch me, I tripped. When I woke, I couldn't remember where I was.
527 of course being a highly sacred and mystical number amongst the Chepatwee28 tribe of Central Brasil, who were prevalent at the time.
7North American author. Suicided in September 200815
8JT:The inside cover of the book I found in the old man's house says that it's the second edition. Where did fourth edition editor's notes come from? Is it connected to the blonde from the shop?23
9Galbraith conclusively demonstrated in his 1987 biography of the author that the frail and womanly tears here are intended as a metaphor to link the protagonist to the hit song "Straight Outta Compton".
10Contemporary research has demonstrated that these lines were paraphrased from the TV show House. This is made puzzling as the original manuscript was found in a sealed clay jar excavated from site M26 of the dig at Karnak, and believed to date back to roughly 2500BC.17
11JT: I asked Cortez, he says Milton Keynes is some place in England, didn't exist in '43. I changed some of the words in the text, to make them fit. I remember when I was a prize fighter back in Thailand. I've never been to Thailand. Mother?
12Editor's note to the third editionIt is once again worth noting that this text was originally printed in English and has not been released in any other languages or ever translated.
13One of the earliest recorded examples of this style of a story threatening to become recursive and repeat inside itself can be seen in The Thousand And One Nights18, in which one of the tales Scheherazade begins to tell is the tale of The Thousand And One Nights itself.
14The secrets of the universe can in fact be found in footnote 22 of this text, courtest of the fourth edition editors.
15Reading further, it appears I have been taken over by the ghost of Mark Z Danielewski instead, however he is not actually dead yet. I do not know if this is an improvement over DFW or not.
aNote by the author: This is not intended to be confused with the popular musician of the same name.
16The Basque language, today spoken by a little over a million speakers, is notable for being a language isolate, one that has no demonstrable relation to any other known language. Further, it is the only language isolate still spoken in Europe, with both Iberian and Etruscan having gone extinct. Language isolates are far more common in the Americas, and to an extent Australasia.
17Errata: This is a printer's error in a previous edition of the book. The correct line should read "...a sealed clay jar found in a demolished house in Milton Keynes, 194311."
18 1001 Nights
20JT: Where is footnote 19? I didn't make it... or, I don't think I did. Who put it there? What did it say? I wish I'd never found this book.
21JT:I know this name, why do I know this name? Is this a part of the conspiracy? I woke up this morning and I was covered in blood. Not all of it was mine. Rang library, asked for Guthrie and Tannhauser book. Doesn't exist. What does this mean? I must move on, Vegas isn't safe anymore.
22-REDACTED-
23Editor's note to the revised fourth edition: We are always.
24No.
25Maybe.
26There is a large section missing from the original manuscript at this point, with the next surviving page believed to be from the middle of chapter 5, picking up after a dramatic explosion at the Nuremberg trials.
27Oh god, am I footnoting my own writing with fake notes? What pretentious madness is this? I have been overcome by the ghost of David Foster Wallace!7
28Editor's note to the revised fourth edition8: Historical records show no evidence of any tribe by this name existing in Brasil. Is it possible this is a mis-translation from the original German12 edition of the text, and actually refers to the Chapalee tribe of Northern Peru.
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