michael pemulis

“Serious readers know we shouldn’t go looking for friends in fiction. Better to look for moral questions, social truths, emotional possibilities—the stuff of life. And yet, isn’t it sort of fun to imagine playing Eschaton with Michael Pemulis or cruising Mexico with the Savage Detectives? Isn’t imagining ourselves among fictional people actually pretty central to the experience of reading?”

Katherine Hill on the tournament of literary friends.


a cold day in a warm climate
a mix for the students of enfield tennis academy

1. “king of the beach” // wavves 2. “is this it” // the strokes 3. “a day without me” // U2 4. “rock the casbah” // the clash 5. “the reeling” // passion pit 6. “the fear” // ben howard 7. “i don’t want love” // the antlers 8. “comeback kid” // sleigh bells 9. “sabotage” // beastie boys 10. “sleepyhead/kids” // mgmt/passion pit 11. “how it starts” // the features 12. “on melancholy hill” // gorillaz 13. “shape shifter” // local natives 14. “a rush of blood to the head" // coldplay 15. “the card cheat” // the clash 16. “high and dry” // radiohead 17. “mt. washington” // local natives 18. “swimmer” // caroline 19. “blue ridge mountains" // fleet foxes 20. “talk” // coldplay

listen on 8tracks

“Baby Pictures Of Famous Dictators” - Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad. Poor Yorick Entertainment Unlimited. Documentary or uncredited cast w/ narrator P.A. Heaven; 16 mm; 45 minutes; black and white; sound. Children and adolescents play a nearly incomprehensible nuclear strategy game with tennis equipment against a real or holographic (?) backdrop of sabotaged ATHSCME 1900 atmospheric displacement towers exploding and toppling during the New New England Chemical Emergency of Y.W. CELLULOID (UNRELEASED) 


This is a redesign of the first movie poster I created for this project. As I was collecting my work for a presentation at the 2nd Annual David Foster Wallace Conference, I decided I wasn’t satisfied with my original design. I think they call this “George Lucas Syndrome”. 

Anyway, in retrospect, I think I missed an opportunity to represent Michael Pemulis’ iconic hat, which kind of echoes a dictator hat. This design is much more iconic than the previous one.

inc and pemulis become the latest victims of my brush pen experimentation

I’ve got a literary crush on the Peemster.

“M. Pemulis is, in the best Allston MA tradition, a good friend and a bad-news enemy, and even E.T.A.s who don’t like him are careful not to do or even say anything that might call for score-settling, because Pemulis is a thoroughgoing chilled-revenge gourmet, and is not one bit above dosing someone’s water-jug or voltaging their doorknob or encoding something horrid in your E.T.A. med-files or dickying with the mirror over the bureau in the little recessed part of your subdorm room so that when you look in the mirror in the A.M. to comb or tend to a blackhead or something you see something staring back at you that you’ll never entirely get over, which is what took over two years to finally happen to M.H. Penn, who afterward wouldn’t say what he’d seen but stopped shaving altogether and, it’s agreed, has never been quite himself since.”

While on the subject of IJ I thought I’d give you an abstract GPOY.

I did wind up going as a half-assed pemulis to that halloween shindig substituting a yachting cap for a conductor’s hat and an Alston High School Wolf Spiders t-shirt with a t-shirt from my own high school. Also, I know that’s not the right brand tennis racquet.