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how many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: The terrible sex had made him feel deeply interesting, like a murder victim.

A: The beast, which had represented his feelings, was dead. “I think I’ll do a pushup,” he announced to the sea. The sea respected him for it.

A: [4000 words from the narrator about his feelings on his childhood circumcision]

A: War is hell.

A: He straightened his tie. He had lost, but in a romantic way, which meant that he had won. “I’m going to do a pushup,” he announced to his tie. His tie respected him for it, and secretly wished that it could have sex with him.

A: You wouldn’t understand.

A: He swore curses at his coworkers. He was making a lot of money. Fuck.

A: This neighborhood in New York City was very different from the other neighborhood in New York City he’d just been in.

A: He lit a cigarette. His glass of whiskey lit a cigarette too. “I can only truly love my best friend,” he said, “but not in a gay way. Women wouldn’t understand it. They’re too gay.” Both of the cigarettes agreed.

A: [4000 words about an isolated encounter with a service worker that borders on racist and goes nowhere]

A: “The cocaine isn’t the point. The cocaine is a metaphor,” he explained wearily over the pile of cocaine. She folded her arms. She didn’t understand his cocaine. “Didn’t you read my manifesto?” The prostitute had read his manifesto. Why couldn’t she?

A: This lightbulb is inauthentic.

A: ”It’s only the institution I have a problem with,” he explained to the empty bar.

A: The time had come for him to go to war, and also find himself, and also reject the rules of your society.

A: His alcoholism was different, because someday he was going to die.

A: [Nothing happens for 450 pages; receives fourteen awards]

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