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Uncategorized Archives - CHRISTIAN KIEFER


I tell you now: there are no epiphanies.

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 43)

The Portable Veblen



SNC (color) Tahoe-2


I’m joining the faculty of the low-res MFA program at Sierra Nevada College come January and hope you’ll consider joining me there (and don’t panic–I’m still at ARC too).

Isn’t it time you did your MFA? I think so. And this is the place to do it. The beauty of Lake Tahoe. Faculty like Ben Percy, Roxanne Gay, Rebecca Makkai, and many others. It’s worth looking at. Trust me.


SNC (color) Tahoe-2

West Coast Live

I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by the wonderful Sedge Thompson of West Coast Live yesterday. Normally I wouldn’t archive this, but this particularly interview was super fun. Thought you might like to hear it.

Paul Kitagaki, Jr. of the Sacramento Bee (and Pulitzer Prize-winner, I might add), made a little video to accompany the piece the Bee is running. Here’s a little glimpse into what my home life looks like.


Auburn, CA

Auburn, CA




From Aschenbach’s Mistake

In the hall of mirrors there is no king. There are only slaves.

Here you are then. Your uniform is black and across your breast is a red sash. A black bicorn upon your head. The others, of course, look identical to you. When you tilt your head, so do they. When you move your leg, they move their legs. When you wave your hands before your face, they do they same.

For years you believed it was you who created the movement, you who were the puppet master of all these reflected images, that they were, indeed, reflections of a central and important and undeniable self that you occupied. Sometimes you flailed about just to watch the others flail about alongside.

But then, one warm evening when the stars were bright in the sky, you dreamed of a hall of mirrors identical to the hall of mirrors in which you slept. You were in a hall of mirrors, dreaming yourself into another hall of mirrors, where you were, again, asleep and dreaming. In such a situation, the mirrors should have reflected your prone form on the floor, the mirrors arrayed everywhere around you, candlelight repeating itself and, through the windowed aperture in the ceiling: the bright white crescent of a waxing moon. But they did not. True, each mirror reflected the next and above you could make you the bright white crescent of the waxing moon. It was you who were absent, for no mirror represented your sleeping form. Instead, the figures in the mirrors stood upright, watching you with their dark eyes under the flat arc of their bicorns, facing you, even in the infinite selves that stretch backwards into the plane of each mirror, even these facing you, standing impassively, watching you sleep.

Of course it was a dream. Is a dream. This was what you told yourself when you realized that you were awake, that you had never slept, that there had been no dream, that there is no dream, that there never will be.

I have already told you that in the hall of mirrors there is no king, only slaves, but now you know that when I say I what I mean is we and when I say you I mean nothing at all. Not one of us knows anything more than that and not one of us is any different from the last.

California to Oregon






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