083: The Mexican Sleigh-bell Trilogy

In Roberto Ning’s novel, The Mexican Sleigh-bell Trilogy, it’s suggested that nothing occurs. The novel is composed of three complicated motifs, each built of elaborate expansions of shadow, sounds, color, geometry, smells, fallacies, natural reactions, and lists. However, the author by choice and ingenuity refrained from introducing plot, character, and significant events. Instead, Ning interspersed blank pages in the novel so that readers and writers could supply these requirements on their own terms or imaginings.

In addition, book sellers in Mexico City and Manchester, UK were ordered by the publisher to purchase each novel back and put each completed return on sale once again. In this way, Ning’s novel would become several novels, each volume reflecting the mind of individual experimentalists, and the new work made available to ignorant readers.

As added incentive, the three parts of the trilogy contained,  in their beautiful and inspiring passages, several keys or codes,  such that given a proper combination of narrative relationships in single or several volumes studied as episodic or compilational inevitable patterns would arise to reveal the identities of men and women who might prevent the feared and predicted invasion from the North.

El Mundo declared Ning a savior, while several critics announced the novelist as a media hungry madman, his publisher criminal.

“We don’t even know if this novel exists, we don’t even know if such a machine is possible,” Fernando Gris said in an interview.

The air, whatever the reactions, was heavy with fear and sorrow as readers and generals waited for the novel and the invading armies to appear. People anticipated the powerful prose. They crowded at the windows of their homes, horrified at the possibility of the loss of the lives of their children due to war. They wondered at the methods of the novelist and they prepared their pens and pencils and reread the great classics of literature to improve their ability to write stunning plots, while writers of all types anticipated the contents from three filmic examples of the novel’s promise and generated stories swiftly, publishing them in magazines and newspapers for the perusal of code decipherers, military experts, and game designers.

Strangely enough, the day before the novel’s expected appearance, a headline ran in El Mundo claiming that Ning had passed on ten years ago and that the invasion so predicted in its universe of press materials must already have occurred and had indeed occurred and that the novel itself had never been written and that the publication house responsible was really a bank or a school or a place where the young congregated to smoke, drink wine, and tell stories.

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