In the last couple of years, UK-based American comedian Lewis Schaffer has been the subject of at least two academic studies.
(It might be four).
One of those studies was authored by Liam Lonergan.
Liam got a 1st in his BA (Hons) course in Creative and Media Writing at the University of Portsmouth for a paper in which he declared Lewis Schaffer “has got that same metaphysical motive as Shakespeare’s characters”.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail from Liam. It said:
From September onwards, I have decided to start researching/writing a book about Lewis Schaffer.
The idea has been gestating for a while. It is a small, episodic book structured like a short story or a novella in the same vein as Julie Hecht’s book about Andy Kaufman – Was This Man a Genius? – or the stories of Belgian experimentalist Jean-Philippe Toussaint.
This is a summary of Toussaint’s The Bathroom (as described by Zadie Smith in her review of the movie The Social Network in the New York Review of Books):
“It’s a book about a man who decides to pass most of his time in his bathroom, yet to my students this novel feels perfectly realistic; an accurate portrait of their own denuded selfhood, or, to put it neutrally, a close analogue of the undeniable boredom of urban twenty-first-century existence.”
My idea in a nutshell: Lewis Schaffer and his denuded selfhood.
My reporting strategy is the same as the Participatory Journalists/New Journalists. It will be a humour piece and an extended profile like Tad Friend’s New Yorker profile of Steve Carrell or Kenneth Tynan’s article about Johnny Carson (also in the New Yorker).
I have told Lewis Schaffer but, unfortunately, I can’t make it to the Edinburgh Fringe this year. My girlfriend wanted us to go to Barcelona, so I have had to sacrifice my chance to go to Edinburgh for her happiness.
I feel we will hear more of this.
The Lewis Schaffer book; not the trip to Barcelona.