Fiction Advocates of the Day: Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer

Keith Mann?

Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer are the founders of online art marketplace Witchsy. They are not, to our knowledge, novelists or literary critics. They are the creators of a platform for people to sell arts and crafts that, as Fast Company reports, “eschews the ‘Live Laugh Love’ vibe of knickknacks commonly found on sites like Etsy in favor of art that is at once darkly nihilistic and lightheartedly funny, ranging in spirit from fiercely feminist to obscene just for the fun of it.”

As they worked to build their company, Gazin and Dwyer noticed that the hired help — mostly men brought on for design and development — were “slow to respond, and vaguely disrespectful in correspondence.” So they created Keith Mann, “an aptly named fictional character who could communicate with outsiders over email.”

You can read the full story of how that changed things over at Fast Company.

David Foster Wallace used to say that the point of fiction was to show what it’s like “to be a fucking human being.” Sometimes, apparently, the point of fiction is just to be treated like a fucking human being.

 

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