The Quiddity of Delusion Cover

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

M.J. Nicholls lives in Glasgow.

pub date: 2017-06-01
$15.00 | 66 pages
isbn: 978-1-944697-25-9 (paperback)
Cover design by Royce M. Becker