Free and Open Source Literature
Marienbad My Love
About a decade ago, I found out about this novel that claimed to be the longest in the English language, Marienbad My Love by Mark Leach. Not only does it consist of more than 17 million words, but it also claims to boast the longest sentence and word in the English language. Its plot synopsis, courtesy of the site linked above, is as follows:
Exiled on a deserted island, a Christ-haunted journalist-turned-filmmaker attempts to persuade a married women from his past to help him produce a science fiction-themed pastiche to the 1960s French New Wave classic, Last Year at Marienbad. Through this act of artistic creation, he expects to carry out the will of God by prophesizing the death of time and the birth of a new religion. If only he can make the woman remember him.
Naturally, due to it's length, covering this novel in any detail would be utterly infeasible. So why do I bring it up here?
On the novel's website, there are two other things of note.
The first is a PDF of the novel's full title, which is somehow 60 pages long.
The other, and more interesting, is the so-called DIY Novel Kit. It consists of a portion of the novel with the main character's name blanked out, to be replaced with that of any prospective novelist, so they can pass the work off as their own.
I'm not even being cynical here; that is the stated purpose:
Want to be a novelist but don’t have time to write an entire book? Mark Leach's "DIY Novel Kit" is the solution time-challenged writers have been waiting for. In honor of National Novel Writing Month, the Texas-based writer has issued <YOUR NAME HERE> PRESENTS A LITTLE BIT OF MARIENBAD, a 50,000-word reboot of MARIENBAD MY LOVE, the world’s longest novel. Leach is offering the novel as a free download through a Creative Commons license, which allows authors to offer their copyrighted work to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing and remixing. Writing is hard, but copying is easy, So if you want to be a novelist you don't have to actually write a novel. You can just copy this one. Insert your name into the manuscript and make it your own. You Can Copy This Novel. It's legal!
Challenge accepted, Mr. Leach.
- Original Novel Do Not Steal (pg 1-26)
- The Apocalypse Is Off Its Meds (pg 27-55)
- The So-Called New Age Prophet (pg 55-82)
- Final Words