John Man, part-time satirist and truth machine, recently experienced the wonderful joy of getting engaged to his girlfriend of seven years. He was so happy that he promptly wrote a satirical, vaguely postmodern article about it, filling it with indulgent, esoteric nonsense.
“I write so much satire that now I can hardly tell what’s real and what isn’t,” he said. “Maybe I’m not even real myself; I might just be a pawn in an elaborate simulacrum, thrown from one absurd situation to another for the amusement of my cynical puppet-master overlords. That could be a thing.”
Man is reportedly glad that in addition to making a permanent commitment to the love of his life, he was also able to grapple playfully with existential themes and employ a variety of literary devices in a congenially absurd way.
“As I proposed, my main concern was whether or not the subsequent retelling of the event could be framed as an interrogation of symbolic authenticity,” he said. “Thankfully, I’m nailing that as I speak.”
For several days after the event Man wandered about in a state of surreal bliss, gently guided by a hopeful sense of uncertainty and tender expectation. “This got me thinking about broader questions on the nature of existence generally,” he said. “I want people to ask: who is Man? Who is he really? Is he really Man, or is he just a signifier of the greater consciousness on which his existence depends? Sometimes I feel as if I exist only to embody concepts like this.”
Man’s friends were overjoyed to hear about the engagement, but most of them admitted that they could not tell who it was who really proposed since Man used an elaborate symbol to describe the whole thing rather than a conventional exposition in sturdy, realistic prose.
“I think this raises a question we all ask ourselves from time to time,” he said. “How much fictive dissonance can one wrest from the untenable implications of a plausible poetic conceit? My imagination can hardly keep up with itself.”