M.J. Nicholls, author of The House of Writers, returns to contribute to our Sagging Shorts series an obsessive monologue vaguely after the manner of Thomas Bernhard. Its narrator, a socially inept writer seeking to deflate or defeat the humiliation of attempting to impress the smooth-talking, self-important sorts of people he loathes but envies, tries to get to the bottom of an embarrassing incident from his childhood, with entertaining but refreshingly anti-climactic non-results. In The Quiddity of Delusion, both barrels of Nicholls’ word-gun are, as always, loaded, and the ego gets it hard in the nads.
“Needing social approval from his pompously intellectual inferiors, our hero suffers how to present a self-compromised pseudo-version of a traumatic childhood embarrassing incident in a self-failed attempt to ‘belong.’ Later he tries to research what really happened by traveling to the assumed spot. He interviews the memories of sister & parents who all prove their reactivated mocking indifference to our pathetically verbally self-conscious hero who’s an exactitude slave to literary integrity that attempts to pierce the fiction/reality divide to which he’s a writerly insider/outsider tumbled by word-beset rectitude. All this wrings humor to its highest note.”
—Marvin Cohen, author of How to Outthink a Wall, The Self-Devoted Friend and Others, Including Morstive Sternbump