I went to a reading tonight of Chuck Klosterman at Olsson’s in DC. As expected, he was articulate and very funny. He read a passage from his new book, Chuck Klosterman IV, and he describes how the book came to be. When he was on a book tour for Killing Yourself to Live (his 3rd book), he encountered all sorts of journalism students and aspiring writers and many of them had never read his stuff and asked where they could get a copy of his previous writings. That’s how he got the idea of packaging up all his previous works and selling them as a very cheap paperback. He didn’t want his best fans to feel ripped off so he put in the novella at the end and the few tidbits/observations. (Note: he also remarked that he’s finished his 5th book which is a fictional novel about a person in North Dakota)
He reading was from CK4 and it was about how to find and deal with your nemesis and your arch-enemy:
What you need is (a) one quality nemesis and (b) one archenemy. These are the two most important mechanisms in any human’s life. We measure ourselves against our nemeses, and we long to destroy our archenemies. They are the catalysts for why we do everything.
How do i know the difference between my nemesis and my archenemy? Here is the short answer: You kind of like your nemesis, despite the fact you despise him. You will always have drinks with your nemesis. you would attend the funeral of your nemesis, and -privately- you might shed a tear over her or her passing. However, you would never choose to have a cocktail with your archenemy, unless you were attempting to spike the gin with arsenic. If you were to perish, your archenemy would dance on your grave, and then he’d burn down your house and molest your children. You hate your archenemy so much that you keep your hatred secret, because you do not want your archenemy to have the satisfaction of being hatred.
If this distinction seems confusing, just ask your girlfriend to explain it in detail; women have always understood the nemesis-archenemy dichotomy….