The Ecphorizer

Writing & Ripov
Albert Russo

Issue #21 (May 1983)

One morning Ripov woke up with a terrible cramp in the solar plexus. It was excruciating. He nevertheless dragged himself to his G.P., bent as he was like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

The doctor examined him from toe to scalp and had no choice but to punch Ripov in the stomach

He had become an autoconvulsive writer in less than a fortnight.

to change the ridiculous position he was in. That calmed him down somewhat, for Ripov wasn't the valetudinarian type.

[quoteleft]"What did you have for dinner last night?" the G.P. inquired.

"Nothing," Ripov answered, "I wasn't hungry."

"That's it!" the doctor exclaimed as if suddenly illuminated, "Have you ever tried to write?"

"I send postcards to people all year long and in different languages too."

"No, I mean write like Norm the Mailman, Jail Carrot-Oats, and Jersey the Cossack," said the doctor.

"To tell you the truth, I prefer carrots to oats and the Cossacks, well, they give me the willies."

'Never mind," quipped the doctor, "go home and start a diary."

"Diarrhea," grimaced Ripov as he reached his apartment, looking now like an overgrown seahorse. "Why on earth does he want me to..."

During that whole afternoon Ripov, whose cramp had not abated, cogitated upon the doctor's last suggestion, concluding the diagnosis must be wrong. Eventually Ripov sat at his desk and began to jot down on a note-pad thoughts he had never dared to spell aloud, even in front of his mirror.

The sacred fire with which Ripov was possessed consumed his cramp and turned him, for ten nights anyhow, into an insomniac. Worried by Ripov's prolonged silence his G.P. decided to pay him a visit. "Incredible," muttered the doctor as he leafed through the manuscript - the last page was marked 5,000 - "flabbergasting, there's absolutely everything in it: parrotry, mosstalgia, dervished and such impotence with all that wonderful pruriency." Ripov was beaming. He had become an auto-convulsive writer in less than a fortnight.

"You've surpassed Games Choice," the doctor exulted, "it's sheer scream of inconscience. Holy Ghost, I can hear him howling of envy." And thus, from a benign shooting pain, Ripov was propelled to the crest of literary prankdom. His fame was so overwhelming that for the first time since Gutsemborg Ripov held the monopoly of the printed word, shoving all his contemporaries into the Moors of Marginality. Every one of his books set a new industry in motion; the commercial publishers and agents either had to disappear or cater to the swarming masses of teeneeweenee and once-upon-a-time-great writers whose growls sounded like a muffled concert of hyenas. Such glorious houses as Silly-Billy & Sisters, Gulp'em All and Scotch o'Hum Merits had to rethink their policies from Z to 0.

By the way, did I tell you that Ripov wrote in cryptograms? Which shows you how a well-kept secret is the key to success; the less you understand, the better. A tip for all of you aspiring and uninspired authors.

P.S. With the exception of Ripov all characters are purely fictinitious, i.e., they are the product of my trashination.  

Albert Russo has settled in Paris, after getting a degree in Business Administration in New York, and another degre at Heidelberg.

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Contributor Profile

Albert Russo

A bilingual author and amateur photographer - English and French are his two "mother tongues", raised in Central and Southern Africa, Albert Russo is the recipient of many awards, such as The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, several New York Poetry Forum Awards, and the Prix Colette, among others. Praised by James Baldwin, Pierre Emmanuel, Paul Willems and Edmund White, among others, his work has been translated in a dozen languages. His award-winning African novels and his hilarious Zapinette series have appeared on both sides of the Atlantic. He is a member of the jury for the Prix Européen (with Ionesco until his death) and sat on the panel of the prestigious Neustadt Prize for Literature, which often leads to the Nobel Prize. He has published more than 20 photo books with Xlibris and many of his photos have been shown at the prestigious Musée de la Photographie de l'Elysée, in Lausanne, Switzerland.