David Holub brings his unique humor to the May issue and he talks with us about unfriending, punctuation, and his fake laugh.
1. What is the Truth?
The Truth is that thing that you cannot look at directly or you die. Like a Burning Bush, something that exposes your errors and deficiencies. To cope with your brokenness, you begin to shape your outlook and the world at large around your distorted views and beliefs, allowing you to live in peace, thinking you don’t suck at existing as much as you do. Fox News comes to mind.
2. “Un-friending a Facebook friend is always hard but un-friending your dead grandfather is plain heart-breaking.” – How much truth is in this sentence?
My grandfathers died seven and twenty-two years before the existence of facebook. I would love for them to have been around long enough so that I would’ve had a chance to un-friend them once they’d gone on to be with the Lord.
3. Would you care to share some of the monologue from “Ye Olde Falsies”?
I was hoping you’d ask! Let me dig out my dusty volume…Oh my…it turns out to be way too racist to be repeated here. Like a lot of work written during a certain time and then read in modern context, “Ye Olde Falsies” is racially shameful, despite being written by a slave.
4. How do you make punctuation apparent in your speech?
I enunciate so hard that I’ve given myself face and neck spasms and caused a number of children and geriatrics to seek medical attention for fright.
5. What are the challenges in writing literary fiction that is also funny?
One challenge is to avoid making jokes for the sake of it. To me, the funniest humor comes out of character and story. Much of the work I receive for Kugelmass (as well as my own stuff, some of which was deleted) suffers from this. A line or thought plopped in because of its perceived funniness at the expense of the story. That is, the joke might have been funny but it didn’t serve the piece as a whole. Other things are pacing, playing with timing, toying with the momentum, getting serious without being sappy, etc. Sometimes it feels like I’m driving a semi-truck, with all these gears and pulleys and whistles and switches (I’ve obviously never been inside a semi-truck). Point is, there are a lot of things to control at once that aren’t always there with straight literary fiction.
6. What does your fake laugh sound like?
If you’ve ever heard “Spanish Flea,” by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, it sounds like that.