[NetBehaviour] Being Boring

netbehaviour netbehaviour at furtherfield.org
Wed Jul 24 10:36:54 CEST 2013

Being Boring

By Kenneth Goldsmith


Presented at:
The First Seance for Experimental Literature, Disney REDCAT Theatre, Los 
Angeles, November, 2004
Kelly Writer's House, University of Pennsylvania, Poet's Lunch, November 

Listen to Being Boring (MP3)

I am the most boring writer that has ever lived. If there were an 
Olympic sport for extreme boredom, I would get a gold medal. My books 
are impossible to read straight through. In fact, every time I have to 
proofread them before sending them off to the publisher, I fall asleep 
repeatedly. You really don't need to read my books to get the idea of 
what they're like; you just need to know the general concept.

Over the past ten years, my practice today has boiled down to simply 
retyping existing texts. I've thought about my practice in relation to 
Borges's Pierre Menard, but even Menard was more original than I am: he, 
independent of any knowledge of Don Quixote, reinvented Cervantes' 
masterpiece word for word. By contrast, I don't invent anything. I just 
keep rewriting the same book. I sympathize with the protagonist of a 
cartoon claiming to have transferred x amount of megabytes, physically 
exhausted after a day of downloading. The simple act of moving 
information from one place to another today constitutes a significant 
cultural act in and of itself. I think it's fair to say that most of us 
spend hours each day shifting content into different containers. Some of 
us call this writing.

More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list