What is better than a biography about one of the greatest fictitious writers of all time? An autobiography, of sorts, about the author of the biography in the guise of writing the biography. It’s not as confusing as I make it sound. Because how does Humbert Botekin write a biography about Ezra Slef when he won’t consent to the interview? Botekin must then rely on public records, interviews, and the like. When that’s not enough, he must comically rely on his own history, which is surely comparable to the great Ezra Slef, to tell the complete story.
While I am versed in some of the influences for this book, some are unknown to me, and it didn’t dampen my enjoyment in the slightest. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Humbert Botekin delve more into Slef, and his obsessive switch from fan to stalker, and worse, which I’m going to term “Slefsessive”™, because it’s fun, and I can.
Botekin has fashioned the footnotes after Slef’s book, which makes the footnotes even more essential, and a bit of magical fairy dust on an already spectacular read. I’ve read Komarnyckyj before and am a fan of his work. His writing is clever, witty, and absolutely enthralling. The more I got into ESTNNLIL, the harder it was to put it down (in much the same vein as Humbert reading Slef’s great work). The irony, jabs, nods, and humor leaped off the page and tickled me delighted. An outstanding read.
Ezra Slef is available for purchase on Amazon for $7.99.