PCKWCK: Live-Stream Writing with Joshua Cohen

PCKWCK: Live-Stream Writing with Joshua Cohen

Right now, you can click here, head over to PCKWCK.com, and watch Joshua Cohen write a novel.

The setup is basic. You see the document Cohen is working on, and on the left side, you see his face while he types, smokes, and occasionally reads the comments on the right side of the page. As he makes changes to the document, you see it happen live.

PCKWCK is based on Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers, and it tells a similar story in a more modern, and sometimes darker context.

Perhaps more interesting, however, is the reason Cohen decided to write this way.

I, as a writer, am firmly from the generation of the book. Of the fixed text, of the text that you pore over and fuss over and that needs to be perfect...The attention to the aesthetic whole and the formalist presentation of your best self. Right?

...The ways that communication is enframed has deeply changed. These most perfect products, perfect cultural products that we make, are put out into the world and enframed by these very messy communications...

...The idea that these, that these careless and thoughtless utterances, seem to be the primary modes bothered me. It also bothered me that I clung in my vanity to this sort of perfectionism.

As Cohen continues, some of what he adds to the book speaks directly to the chat happening off to the side, and from time to time, takes text from it directly. It's the only way to deal with people chatting about your process live, right? As Cohen puts it:

There’s only a certain amount of times that I can read about how small my penis is.

Cohen will be writing from 1PM to 6PM EST every day this week, and Leon Chang provides chapter illustrations.

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