The First Rule of Fat Club: A Poem
A subversion of rules in response to a Chuck Palahniuk suggestion.
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This week, the author of Fight Club, Chuck Palahnuik, announced his new novel, Not Forever, but For Now, on his Substack,Plot Spoiler, stating that it was perhaps the best book he’s ever written, better even than Fight Club. No. Big. Deal. He also listed it for pre-sale on Amazon, and in a baller move, without even a cover on that platform. As an author who overthinks book releases, his casual pre-sale reminded me that there is absolutely no need to conform to convention. (The cover has since been added, but wasn’t there on announcement day.)
Palahniuk also wrote about the inspiration behind the new novel—his struggle with the “Cozy,” meaning the cozy mystery genre, and the need to subvert common genres.
“This goes beyond parody or satire. It’s not about just exaggerating the qualities of the genre—the twee village, the deadpan reaction to bloody death, the over dependence on baked goods and cute animals—it’s also about adding a greater element of heartbreak and raw emotion…”
He elaborated further, saying, “So, I invite you. If there’s a genre of fiction that you don’t appreciate, get inside of it. Study how it works, and then reinvent it using its own rules.”
This reminded me of the very “Rules” of Fight Club:
I subverted his rules once myself, twisting them into a poem to express and vent my frustrations about living in a plus-sized body amongst a society that condemns and contrives bizarre stories about bigger people.
Not only do we contrive, but we also erase the stories. We do all sorts of weird, untruthful, dishonest things.
The word "fat" has been cut from all of Dahl's kids' books, according to The Telegraph. Augustus Gloop, from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," is now simply "enormous" rather than "enormously fat." Aunt Sponge, from "James and the Giant Peach", is no longer "the fat one." (From the article linked above)
It’s like now that we have semiglutides, all fat people can just disappear. Isn’t that what they (the non-members) want anyway?
I don’t like this. I like the word fat and I embrace it.
So, I’ll share my poem now, which I wrote in the midst of the pandemic when non-members warned thick people to be extra fearful of their own bodies.
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