DALLAS, Texas (STAFF) — We can finally announce publicly that DolusBonus.com has secured the rights to publish the diaries of the great American novelist Devin Quinn. The staff at DolusBonus.com has already begun editing the diaries, under the strict supervision of Dr. Bonus himself, and we are humbled by the task given us. These diaries will be of great interest to Quinn scholars and will perhaps allow for a better understanding of the mysterious and reclusive writer who only achieved real recognition as an artist years after his untimely death. We have already received requests to review the material by hopeful biographers who are hoping the diaries will help reveal more about one of America’s greatest writers.
As excited as we are by the diaries and what they may reveal, it became obvious very early that the story of how Dr. Kennedy (aka Dolus Bonus) was able to acquire the rights is perhaps just as interesting a story and we believed it worth reporting. We intend to maintain high literary and journalistic standards for which Southern Commentary has always been known despite our close involvement in the story, a story that it is becoming increasingly obvious is far from over.
After a seemingly endless series of emails, letters, phone calls, and visits to the Quinn Family home in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, we can publically confirm that Dr. DolusBonus.com has been given the rights to reproduce excerpts from the diaries of the great American novelist Devin Quinn. The fact that DolusBonus.com has obtained these rights is a little hard even for us to believe – due mostly to blind luck, the infighting among the Quinn family over who owns the rights to Quinn’s novels, and what we can only determine to be a criminally negligent understanding of the term “due diligence” by the attorneys who represent the family.
For us, the story began almost eighteen months ago on the anniversary of Quinn’s death, and as work was beginning on the effort to launch Southern Commentary in its digital form. Dr. Bonus had spent much of the evening reading aloud from “Suckling at the Nipple of the American Dream,” Quinn’s last novel and perhaps his best work, while drinking Jack Daniels straight from the bottle and telling any staff member within earshot that not only was Quinn the greatest writer America had ever produced, that he was quite simply the greatest writer who had ever lived.
Financing for the new digital version of the magazine was difficult to obtain and many staff members worked long hours without pay in the belief that Southern Commentary might still play an important role in shaping thought and culture at a critical time in our nation’s history. We were forced to fill many key positions with interns who have more than made up for their lack of experience with their enthusiasm and dedication to the cause. The level of their work has been of a refreshingly high caliber given the importance Dr. Bonus has always placed on selecting very pretty young women to fill internships since founding the magazine.
On that particular evening, however, one of these young women who is perhaps more attractive than she is bright did what pretty-but-dumb women often do. She asked a question that should not have been asked at the exact time it was least productive. “Who, exactly, was Devin Quinn anyway?” she asked, quickly realizing her error.
This resulted in a rage-filled lecture, delivered in shotgun fashion, on the literary accomplishments of Devin Quinn. Being under the influence of so much Jack Daniels whiskey, and perhaps because of the lack of real support for the revival of his beloved Southern Commentary, Dr. Bonus accused everyone in the office under thirty of being part of the most ignorant generation. Quinn’s legacy as an artist was being “slowly and methodically euthanized” due to their ignorance and they were all guilty of being traitors to the progressive movement, to art, and all that was good and just.
Vowing that something must be done, Dr. Bonus began writing the letter that would lead to the Quinn family reconsidering its refusal to release any of Quinn’s personal papers and his journals in particular. The family was guilty of allowing the execution of Quinn as an artist and unless they agreed to help spark the interest of a new generation of readers they would be guilty of “literary murder.”
Staff who were present that night say that Dr. Bonus was at his vintage IBM Selectric II Electric Typewriter for close to two hours, and that the resulting letter cost $5.60 to mail the next day at the local Post Office. The cost to post the letter suggested that he sent well over thirty pages of Jack Daniels-inspired prose if the postal-rates-per-page tables at Writer’s Digest are to be believed.
It is thought that Quinn began keeping a journal about the time he began to quietly go insane —— somewhere around 1954 or 1955. Quinn would have been thirty-six in 1954, and he had yet to publish anything of substance. Over the course of the next three years, however, he published two novels under the name Devin Quinn, and four more under his various pseudonyms, including “A Man, A Woman, and Death,” and the minor-classic, “Notes to Satan.” Although he failed to keep a copy of his original letter, Dr. Bonus states that the thrust of his missive was that Quinn was being lost to history and not given the credit he deserved. Dr. Bonus further states that he told the family that Quinn’s rightful claim to being the most important writer of his generation was being lost to hacks like Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Kerouac, and that unless something was done all Quinn’s novels would be lost.
Dr. Bonus says he rightfully blamed Quinn’s publisher at the time for being a chicken-shit-commie-cocksucker, who never seriously promoted the series of novels that Quinn wrote in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s due to cowardice. To be fair, however, 1950’s America was not a place eager to embrace the work of a novelist like Quinn, and the publisher no doubt had legitimate fear at how Quinn’s work would be received, and equally afraid of being named publically as a fairy, a Red, or both. [Note: Quinn wrote extensively about his sexual confusion, the idea that America had never been more than a dream, and his recurring belief that he was having conversations with the God of the Universe, subjects that were not exactly mainstream during his lifetime. To make matters worse the God of the Universe didn’t seem to object to Quinn’s sexual perversions or his assertions that America had been hijacked by fixers, thugs, and gangsters.]
Further, Dr. Bonus believes he may have suggested that Quinn’s work was in danger of being relegated to “genre” classification, meaning the death of any serious claim to literary fame. It would effectively mean the end of Devin Quinn as a both a writer and potential source of income for the family of Quinn who still owned the rights to the Quinn novels. Dr. Bonus even boldly suggested that he was aware of pre-production discussions on making “Death by Masturbation” into an HBO special, and that allowing the public access to Quinn’s diaries would help pump up a little needed publicity, perhaps resulting in the movie’s producers ability to get backing for the project. The drunken appeal was dutifully mailed by a loyal Dr. Bonus staffer the next day, and then promptly forgotten.
Oddly enough, a response to what we have begun referring to internally as the “Dr. Bonus-Quinn Letter,” arrived by post some months later and lay unopened among various past-due invoices and demands for payment that come standard on any Dr. Bonus-backed venture. When the letter was finally found among the various bills and letters from frustrated debt-collectors, Dr. Bonus was on the coast surfing and could not be reached for several weeks, further delaying a series of events that we have not fully been able to explain to the degree to which we would prefer. To briefly summarize, we can offer that upon returning from California, Dr. Bonus was given the letter and immediately retreated to his studio apartment above the DolusBonus.com offices. He emerged three days letter with a written response printed on the newly designed DolusBonus.com letterhead, using the good stuff with the 20% cotton weave. This time the staff had the good sense to photocopy the letter prior to mailing it.
In a letter to family solicitor Arthur S. Cox, Dr. Bonus stated that DolusBonus.com was willing to publish selected excerpts of the Quinn diaries over a period of two years on the its website, with the understanding that the entire work be made available to Dr. DolusBonus.com and that Dr. Bonus be allowed to make all editorial decisions regarding which entries would be published and when. He assured the family that the legacy of the great writer would be maintained, and that the journal entries would be presented in a context that supported Dr. Bonus’ long-felt belief that Quinn was one of the great men of letters. Attorney Cox eventually responded that the family viewed Dr. Bonus’ proposal “favorably,” but were particularly interested in learning more about who might be willing to buy the rights to one of Quinn’s novels for a movie. Could Dr. Bonus forward contact information so that Cox could begin negotiations immediately?
Dr. Bonus, who is not known for his patience, booked airfare to Nashville for himself and an intern named Michelle, where he said he planned to continue the negotiations in person. His exact moves during this period are not clear to us at present, but expense reports include a number of trips to strip clubs in the Nashville area, large quantities of tequila, and a tattoo and set of matching nipple rings for Michelle. We heard nothing from either him or Michelle for the next three weeks, but Dr. Bonus eventually returned sure that further effort would be a complete waste. The family, he said, was not a particularly impressive group, but they were desperate to turn the Quinn novels into hard currency, and actually thought Dr. Bonus was the first good opportunity they had to turn Quinn into one last family payday. They were constantly trying to get Dr. Bonus to reveal his Hollywood sources, sources which simply did not exist. At one point Dr. Bonus is fairly certain a woman had offered her fourteen year old daughter to Dr. Bonus if he would give her, and her alone, the information on how to contact the “movie people,” but Dr. Bonus admits he was drinking even heavier than normal and that he may have been confused.
Dejected, and suffering from what was probable alcohol-poisoning, he returned to Dr. DolusBonus.com HQ less than enthusiastic about the possibility of a successful conclusion to episode. We were also informed that Michelle had hired an attorney, and was considering a number of legal strategies regarding some questionable behavior Dr. Bonus may, or may not, have engaged in during their time together.
It was somewhat surprising then, when a signed contract was delivered to our offices last Monday by a FedEx driver giving Dr. DolusBonus.com the entire rights to the Quinn journals. Additionally, the driver told us he had over a dozen boxes of various sizes that were found to contain the actual journals themselves. A handwritten note from Attorney Cox reminded Dr. Bonus the family was most eager to speak with Mister Bonus’s “movie friends,” and requesting that copies of the “Internet reproductions” be forwarded to the family via the Cox law firm.
And that, in summary then, is how we came to be the sole possessors of the journals of Devin Quinn, complete with the legal right to publish them on DolusBonus.com, a fact that is not always the case when working on a Dr. Bonus backed venture.
In the coming weeks we will formulate a plan to begin releasing the diaries to the public, necessitating we launch DolusBonus.com months before our scheduled timeline, and prior to obtaining the necessary funding to promote the event. Dr. Bonus is convinced that advertising will come once we get a little word-of-mouth going, but veteran staff members are less enthusiastic about commercial possibilities. We are, however, only just now able to gauge the impact the diaries may have on Quinn biographers and scholars, and the consensus is that everything written about Quinn prior to the publication of the diaries will be considered worthless. Dr. Bonus will, of course, also be presenting his interpretation of the dairies, as anyone familiar with the man could have easily predicted.