Now That It's Won $1,500 and Will Be in Book Form, Let's Revisit "The Consummation of Dirk"

If you've got little to do this morning, and you missed it the first time 'round in the fall of '09, might I suggest you spend a little time with "The Consummation of Dirk," penned by Jonathan Callahan, an American living in Japan. "Batshit insane," declared Deadspin upon its mysterious arrival. Or ... is it?

We can no more readily presume Nowitzki's ambivalence to stem from the "maternal lacuna" than we can suggest that the savor of a pretzel derives from the absence of sugar withdrawn: the notion preposterously reduces and self-serves.


On horseback a young Dirk Nowitzki races teammate Steve Nash down a thin strip of floury sand along the lapping shallows of some sub-tropical sea, the duo's long hair flapping like matched manes in the wind.


And Kirk, who was once called Dirk, walked again among the people, bearing good tidings of great joy, peace to the strife-afflicted, communion to those who cried out from the pits of their solitude, hope to all who had abandoned hope, and the people received him with feasting and dance.

Well, if you're gonna put it like that. Reason I mention it: The story has been named the winner of publisher Starcherone's Prize for Innovative Fiction competition, for which he will received $1,500. "The Consummation of Dirk" will also serve as the the titular tale in a collection of short stories due for publication next year. (Its original title: Book of Pain.) Writer Zachary Mason, serving as judge and jury, heralded Callahan's "adept torrents of words that bear comparison with Virginia Woolf and David Foster Wallace."

Said Callahan in '09, his obsession with Nowitzki began with this game: Mavs-Spurs Game 7, May 22, 2006. "I'm not from Dallas, never liked the Mavericks and didn't have any clear rationale for zeroing in on the German, whose actual game I'd never even particularly admired; all I can say is that during the summer of '06 I was almost pathologically invested in his success or failure."

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