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May 2, 2007

Book Notes - Tao Lin ("Eeeee Eee Eeee")

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that is in some way relevant to their recently published books.

Tao Lin, already a well-respected poet, releases two works of fiction this week. Eeeee Eee Eeee is his debut novel.

Of the novel, Time Out Chicago wrote:

"The prose is poetic and downright David Lynch–ian, painting a world in which it’s not surprising for one young man to tell another, “I just thought about going to Seattle with you and murdering your dad.”

Tao Lin's Book Notes essay for his short story collection, Bed, was posted yesterday.

Many thanks to Tao Lin for joining Chuck Klosterman and Dave Wellington as a repeat contributor to this series.


In his own words, here is Tao Lin's Book Notes essay for his debut novel, Eeeee Eee Eeee:

Eeeee Eee Eeee has lyrics from I Hate Myself. I like I Hate Myself. They are severely disillusioned yet sensitive and creative and considerate. They only hate themselves. Their music is very excruciating. If I saw a music video of someone killing themselves to I Hate Myself I would feel very afraid, existentially, because of the horrors of being and existence. I think I can make a life-affirming music video for I Hate Myself. It would still have suicide but would be calmer, not as scary, and ultimately life-affirming. The person would stab their face repeatedly with a fork then lay on their bed and sleep. The next day the person would want to shower but would be blind because of the giant scab on their face and trip on a mini refrigerator and head butt a window and fall out of their two-story house. An eagle flies down and tries to carry the person away but the person is seven times the eagle's weight and the eagle averts its eyes from another eagle that is standing inside a tree staring. There is a close-up of the first eagle's face, then a close-up of the second eagle's face. Both eagles have neutral facial expressions.

Eeeee Eee Eeee also has lyrics from Samiam. Samiam is a little excruciating. If I made a music video for Samiam I would have someone stand at a window eating banana pieces out of a bowl while looking across the street at a small brontosaurus attacking a group of teenagers. I would tell the person to "eat the banana pieces as if you were a tiny moose the size of a blue whale and the banana pieces were baby hamsters the size of obese manatees raised on low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets," then go into an out-of-control rage and throw the person out a window.

Eeeee Eee Eeee also has lyrics from Jawbreaker. A Jawbreaker music video would have someone eating cantaloupe slices with salt on them. At the end the TV screen would say, "The effect of listening to Jawbreaker is you put salt on your fruit."

Eeeee Eee Eeee doesn't have lyrics from any other bands.

Eeeee Eee Eeee has intelligent animals. I'm going to create a mixed CD for intelligent animals. Eeeee Eee Eeee has moose, hamsters, bears, dolphins, aliens, and Elijah Wood. I will create a mixed CD for all those animals and Elijah Wood. One song for each species. They will share the CD. I want them to sit around a campfire in a K-mart parking lot at 3 a.m. listening to the songs with a very small stereo. Whenever a certain animal's song plays that animal will feel self-conscious. At one point Elijah Wood will stand up with a worried facial expression and a hamster will say, "Sit down Elijah Wood," and Elijah Wood will sit down.


1) Atom and His Package – Threshold to Adult Living

This song is for a bear when it is jogging on a path for exercise and sees a camper and chases the camper without changing its jogging speed.


2) Dead To Me – Visiting Day

This song is for a bear to use on a hamster. A bear can tie a hamster to a tree and put the ear phones in the hamster's ears to share this song before untying the hamster and throwing it three hundred feet into the air at a 45 degree angle. This song is 1:19.


3) Azure Ray – Raining in Athens

This song is for an Elijah Wood. Elijah Wood likes this song because it makes him feel "pensive but without the burden of actual thoughts."


4) Azure Ray - November

This song is for an alien. If I was an alien who just got to Earth I would like to hear this song. It sounds calm, professional, intelligent, sexy, hopeful, meticulous, considerate, tolerant, conscious of the indifference of the universe but willing and grateful to live within that indifference, clean, vegan, and friendly.


5) Sunny Day Real Estate – Song About an Angel

I like this song. This song is for moose. Moose don't experience this song emotionally. It doesn't sound like a song to them. They only feel the vibrations against their eardrums. If a moose were at a Sunny Day Real Estate concert it would walk through the crowd with a neutral facial expression knocking over and crushing emotional teenagers and college students.


6) I Hate Myself – Less Than Nothing

This song is for a dolphin. Here are the lyrics:

"60 watts, brighter than my future / an empty forty, fuller than my life / there must be more, sometimes I don't think so / maybe I'm right / maybe there's no such thing as a brighter side / a sultry night / stare at moons from rooftops / a broken engine, poisoned never dry / I pour my heart out to a god that doesn't listen / you said you'd save me / you said you'd love me always but you lied / and I can't dry my eyes / and there is nothing left inside / one day, the day, the day that I said I / my heart inside was cold so that you didn't know / so all and you, you won't love me at all / the leaves come down, there is no sound, what if I fall, would you notice at all? / the thought of me repulses me / but you'd say you took me anyway / I am so alone on a corroded city rooftop / I saw you walking, you didn't say anything / you always told me that you'd never stop loving me, but you stopped before you started and now all I have is lies / what am I gonna be? / who am I gonna be? / afraid / repressed / and now that I feel lost / well I wish that you had grown, while I bleed all alone / the falling rain is what is left for me / we're gonna be / what's left for me / what is there to learn? / there is less than nothing / I thought you'd be, be there for me / you weren't there / you weren't anywhere / you lied right to my face / you broke my f*cking heart / one day, one day you tore my heart apart / and i have nothing / and i am nothing / I'm piss / I'm shit / I am less than nothing."


see also:

Tao Lin's Book Notes essay for his short story collection, Bed
Tao Lin's Book Notes essay for you are a little bit happier than I am

the author's blog
the book's website
the author's myspace page
the author's Wikipedia entry
Tao Lin's poetry online
Tao Lin's stories online

Time Out Chicago review

Bat Segundo interview with the author
Publisher's Weekly interview with the author
litpark interview with the author
other interviews with the author

Ellen Kennedy and Tao Lin's press

Previous Book Notes submissions (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)

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