Noah Hoffenberg: Selected Prose Poems
Fiction » September 2001

Everything You Need to Know about Nothing

There was a writer who had nothing to write about, but he wrote nonetheless because writing is about process and not about product.

So the writer wrote and the writing was nothing but process.

Yet somehow the process transformed into a 700 page manuscript of product, which was highly marketable. It was a novel about a writer who had nothing to write about.

It was published by a large publishing house next to immediately after the writer stopped his processes. The editors smartly named it Nothing.

Critics hailed Nothing as a modern classic, for it broke new ground in the conventions of form and content. Nothing used the form of no-form, a by-product product of a process without a goal.B The public raved about Nothing for weeks on end. Nothing hit #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List, and the writer had made a fortune by the end of its 108 week run at the top of the charts.

After a couple years of writing nothing since Nothing, and having spent all his royalties and at the endless bemoaning of his fans, the writer embarked on another writing journey. A journey without a goal. A writing process without product.

This time the writer really wrote about nothing. He wrote nothing at all in fact, and kept all his writerly nothing-thoughts to himself.

When he was finally done writing nothing, he sent a 700 blank page manuscript of nothing to his editors. They dubbed it Total Nothingness with much editorial glee.
The critics again hailed the writer's Total Nothingness. Publisher's Weekly said: "the author has somehow managed to traverse the perilous chasm between avant garde shock art and the original Nothing." The public couldn't understand it though, and sales flopped.

The writer never wrote anything again, and gradually became a regular man like J.D. Salinger. Every moment of his life became a part of the process of his life, which he knew would amount to nothing in the end: no product.

Life for him was good.

However, he did grow tired of listening to citizens berate his Total Nothingness while pining away for another novel like the original Nothing.

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