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You Can Now Watch Joshua Cohen Write a Novel Online in Real Time

The writer is composing his next book over the course of the next five days, and you can watch him do it in an experiment that's sort of like Twitch for novelists.
October 12, 2015, 7:14pm

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Read our profile of Joshua Cohen from the 2015 Fiction Issue of VICE here.

Novelist Joshua Cohen has already amassed a herculean body of work, and the guy is only 35. His novels and short stories are dense and meticulous, yet he's somehow able to blast them out one after another while still finding time to review books for Harper's on the side.

Now, just to drive home the point that he can dash out brilliance in the time it takes for the rest of us to slog through a single season of Treme, Cohen has decided to pen a serialized novel called Pckwck online, in real time, over the course of five days.

Cohen started the novel on Monday at 1 PM EST, and he's already a few thousand words deep in the first chapter. The whole thing is a "reinterpretation of Charles Dickens' first serialized novel, The Pickwick Papers," according to the Pckwck site, and watching Cohen's curser spit out sentences feels like editing a Google Doc at the same time as someone endlessly smarter than you.

The site also includes a chat room, where you can shoot the shit with the other readers (who mainly seem to be making extremely internet jokes) and heckle Cohen as he fiddles around with word choices. The whole thing was put together by Useless Press, who you may remember from the bizarro Facebook parody the Data Drive.

Start reading Pckwck here.