Baret Magarian’s novel The Fabrications comes out June 1 from indie publisher Pleasure Boat Studio, distributed by Small Press Distribution in Berkeley. “A wildly inventive, comic novel centered on a bizarre idea: what if someone’s fictional story about your life started to come true?” That’s the blurb. I’ve been reading the book. It’s pretty darned intriguing. Then comes Lee Foust’s review: a “brilliant and complex dual meditation upon soul and image, spirituality and spin, philosophy and satire.”
So I sit down with Baret at the Feltrinelli Red bookstore cafe on the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence and he says his publicist told him he needs a web site and I say, “Well, duh.”
Dubya-dubya-dubya BARETMAGARIAN.COM, right? But no. He doesn’t have a Web site.
“You don’t have a friggin’ Web site? What’s wrong with you?”
I do a spit take there in the cafe. Then it dawns on me. Wow. I kind of envy the guy. “But … you have to have one,” I say.
“I really don’t want one,” he says. “I really don’t.”
Truth is, I don’t either. I’ve got one but I don’t want it. I’ve got one just because … you’ve just got to have one! You don’t have a WEB SITE? YOU ARE A RIDICULOUS MAN!
But after my spit take, I’m kinda sitting back letting the pure reality of this sink in, and the feeling reaches me, and I realize: This man is a hero! This man defies all convention in pursuit of his art! This man has the courage to stand up and say, “I am a man! I am a writer! I have no Web site!”
This man refuses! This man says what millions would love to say if only we had his courage: I do not want a Web site! I hate my Web site!
How we got onto that in the first place is we were talking novel-launch publicity, pitches, how to get yourself noticed, that kind of crap, and I was already irritable and filled with bile and ennui and irritation until he said those magic words: “I don’t want a Web site.”
Then I see the angle. “There’s your angle, Baret: Novelist refuses to buy domain name first and last no hyphen no period! There’s your angle, my boy! Genius!”
Sure, Baret, don’t have a fucking web site. I applaud you!
And I do. Seriously, this is what I like about Baret Magarian as an artist: He’s going for it. He’s the real deal. He’s got no Web site. Google www.baretmagarian.com. What do you get? You get the chance to grab this highly desirable domain name for the princely sum of $8.95!
It made me feel so small.