I Heart Indies

Friday, May 11, 2012

Biographical Notes: Part One, The Early Years

I have compiled these brief notes in hopes that when I achieve the pinnacle of fame, which seems my natural destiny, some future biographer will find them useful.

Man Martin was born in Ocala, Florida, in 1959, where his father was a high-ranking official, and his mother, a famous (some say infamous) socialite and taste-maker whose salon was considered de rigeur in the demi-monde of the Central Florida literary set.  During the anarchist uprising of '66, an assassin's bullet found Martin's father in the midst of composing his great monograph exploring the genus of the cabbage palm, and Martin's mother fled with Man and his sisters - his brother Homer had already enlisted in the Resistance where he would win several medals of valor and the Distinguished Service Pin - to Fort Pierce, where she opened a fashionable tea room, serving, among others, Marcel Proust, Ernest Hemingway, and Frank Zappa.  But two years later, the Germans rolled in, and the Martins had to flee once more.  Man, nine years old by this time, had already written his first novel, and Gertrude Stein, one of his mother's patrons, who'd seen an unpublished manuscript, pronounced it a "work of genius."  Unfortunately, in the hurry and confusion, the manuscript was left behind.  Ezra Pound, who briefly occupied the house in the summer of '70 is believed to have found Martin's incohate notes and used them to fashion his own masterpiece, Look Homeward Angel, which he published under the pen name of Herman Melville. 
By this name, the young Man Martin had
already written several novels
Man's sister Helen had meanwhile discovered radium and won the Nobel Prize; unfortunately, owing to a bureaucratic mix-up, the check was sent to the neighbors, and times were tough for the Martins.  Within two short years, they'd eaten the last of their sled dogs, and were seriously considering a case of pickled beets they had in the pantry and whether anything could be done to make these edible.  Man's middle sister, Chris, writing under the pen name of George Eliot, had written some unflattering limericks about the commissar, in which she compared his nose to a corndog.  The family had to flee once more, but by this time, they'd done so much fleeing, they were getting used to it.  Chris changed her name to Nettie and embarked on an ambitious project to level the Taj Mahal and build an exact replica in the precise spot where it had once stood without anyone noticing.  It is unclear whether she ever succeeded.  Meanwhile Man had written five more novels and an opera.  Alas, the notes for these were also left behind, and when Man asked could they please go back and get them, his mother said, they couldn't turn back now, and he should have thought of that before they fled, and he'd leave his own head behind if he didn't have it screwed on tight.  The novels were later found by Wagner who turned them into operas.  George Bernard Shaw found the opera and turned it into a play.  This was was later adapted into a novel by Thomas Pynchon.  The film version comes out this Spring.

NEXT: Adolescence, A Troubled Time

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