Four False Biographies

by Bryan Edenfield

Four False Biographies

Franz Kafka (False Biography 1)

We try to name something unnameable, namely, your infinite regress into a joy so horrible it transforms the world, lovely and idiotic, into an infernal mistake, the next level of hell, banality, which finds perfect solace staring into the last comedy before slumber, the one you dreamed about the night before. What I mean by that is this: I cannot see any of the objects you hold in your hands because when you hold them they become something else, something blinding. And when you describe them to me, you sing in the most beautiful voice, but I know you are only speaking in tongues, and when translated, we will have all of the gasps humanity has ever quivered, wilted down into death. Death sounds like a laugh, not a scream, but the two are easily confused.

Gertrude Stein (False Biography 2)

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately but not because I know you or could even imagine. When I think about you I simply think about a series of words that would describe you perfectly, but I don’t know what those words are and wonder if they have even been invented yet. Certainly they have been but I know that the sentence that describes you so perfectly if read would be mistaken for the real thing (a transformative sentence using magic needlessly to conjure you up woops accidentally) and would necessarily be composed of words in the wrong order or in no order at all. Again I know you are my friend but again whenever you take me to a place full of things that are supposed to be familiar I forget what all of those things are.

Jules Verne (False Biography 3)

When I was a kid I wanted to travel to imaginary places not because they were imaginary but because they weren’t. Given maps, I build a paper city only to watch it collapse. The collapse is the best part, but for the people inside the maps, their whole world has just been destroyed. They plea to me but they speak in a sophisticated jargon that sounds exactly like the clicking of insects. I click back and pretend it means something. We’ve all just gone on an adventure and we have all survived. This imaginary land was for no one else but me. Even its inhabitants have to die.

Jorge Luis Borges (False Biography 4)

Before the Big Bang, everything was compressed into one tiny spot. What if it still is? When I see you looking at your watch with such intensity I know you couldn’t possibly be that befuddled by the time of day, you must be staring into the entirety of existence. People who collect rare coins might be doing the same thing, or people who study architecture, or someone reading a book. What bothers me is the thought that all spots, all objects, still contain the whole of the universe. That’s too many universes for the universe to hold and I fear it may explode. Every day I lay in bed and tremble with fearful anticipation: a multitude of big bangs spreading out from every spot in the universe, spawning innumerably more spots where innumerably more universes will sit, compressed, waiting to be contemplated, waiting to explode.