Public Fiction’s storefront sign, Los Angeles, 2014.

THIS STORY BEGINS somewhere other than the beginning.

It’s a hot summer night in Los Angeles, and the artist D’Ette Nogle is onstage accompanied by two big, restless dogs. Nogle is recounting the plot of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a hardly obscure movie that has been playing in theaters all over the world for the past month. Her narration, or “shaggy-dog story” (as she describes it), is exacting—almost brutally so, with the blow-by-blow continuing for some forty minutes. Nogle’s abundant energy never wanes, but the audience crammed into the stuffy storefront space starts to get visibly nervous and grows sweatier every minute the story continues. The rows of folding chairs were filled a long time ago, and the swelling crowd fills in the empty space behind the stage, sitting on the floor. Said stage is situated in the middle of the space, framed by an incongruously lavish

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