By Frederic Tuten
“An impressive, glittering, sparkling, Proustian, Conradian, Borgesian, diamond-faceted, language-studded, myth-drowned Dream!”―Cynthia Ozick
those mysterious, interrelated tales create a portrait of the author’s existence, either genuine and imagined, as he appears to be like in each one story variously as hero, bystander, artist, and ghost, yielding a fascinating autobiography of the imagination.
delusion and fact collide because the book’s primary characters―two lovers―meet, half, and reunite, repeatedly, at diversified phases in lifestyles and in landscapes either commonplace and unique. loss of life looks as a genial waiter in a café throughout from the Metropolitan Museum of artwork; conversing circus elephants console a ringmaster for his unrequited love; a tender boy barters with pirates for his grandmother’s soul; and as a fridge starts spilling mini-glaciers right into a couple’s East Village condominium, a voyage to Antarctica commences on an icy schooner looking ahead to them in Tompkins sq. Park.
Love, and its secret, is on the center of those self pictures, yet love additionally for artwork, for experience, and for the eagerness of being alive.
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Additional info for Self Portraits: Fictions
I assumed he may locate that humiliating yet he gave her a major kiss at the cheek. “Who else is coming? ” he requested. “The entire staff, the snakes and their minders. possibly the lions. And Mario, in fact. ” “Tell Marie I’m busy this night and in any case she shoulda requested me herself rather than sending you. ” “It’s only a pleasant night,” I acknowledged. “Everyone’s invited, you, too, Marlene. ” “Oh! A pleasant evening. ” Then, together with his tooth slowly pulling the opposite ring from the fortune-teller’s ear, he extra, “Unless she has a greater provide, i've got one other kinda evening in brain. inform her that, why don’t you. ” “Well, I requested, anyway,” I acknowledged, feeling a weight off my chest, blissful that he wouldn't be anyplace close to her. but additionally apprehensive that with out him, Marie wouldn't come to dinner. I went to the elephant carry and located them milling round, apart from Sam, who was once slumbering on his ft with one eye open, his trunk drooping with dignity. the newborn, his haunches on a bale of hay, yawned and had not anything to assert, yet his mom got here up with reference to me and in a consoling voice stated, “Louie, it’s ok no matter what occurs approximately dinner. I don’t care a lot for Romero’s, besides. ” “We’ll locate one other position the subsequent time we’re in town,” I acknowledged. “Why don’t you convey a sandwich over the following, Louie, and we will be able to watch you devour so that you won’t be on my own? ” “Thanks, Mother,” I stated, and left. i used to be on my method to see Marie and inform her that I had appeared all over the place yet i couldn't locate Eddie. I additionally desired to inform her with phrases what she and the elephants had already recognized. The moon was once black opposed to the floodlights. Mario’s trailer loomed forward like a loaf of darkness with a bit sq. of sunshine. I went as much as the open sq. very quietly and watched him slick his hair again with an oil whose body spray got here during the window like a wind of violets. He combed and recombed and patted down his hair to a sparkly rainy helmet. He sang. He used to be his personal guitar. His voice got here from a Gypsy collapse Granada, a cave lit through stars and candles. He sang approximately love and its miseries and the enjoyment of these miseries. He sang approximately unrequited love whose treatment used to be dying, yet he boasted that his love used to be even more desirable than dying and his steely grip. Then he wrapped a series tightly approximately his chest and increased and elevated himself, his muscle tissues bursting, his face a pink furnace, till, ultimately, the chain snapped, one hyperlink following the opposite. The Park close to Marienbad “You say: I by no means learn the newspaper. yet I’ve visible you learn the Sunday occasions. you are saying: I by no means exit anymore. yet you’re out all of the time,” she acknowledged. “You’re out with me straight away, aren’t you? ” “Well? ” he acknowledged. “Negative absolutes is what I mean,” she acknowledged. “Never isn't constantly negative,” he stated. “As in, I by no means now not enjoyed you. ” He used to be skinny, in a charcoal pin-striped swimsuit too tight for him. probably that was once the current sort. He had knotted his tie completely and tightly in a Windsor—a contact of sartorial rigor to offset the fancy influence of the mauve handkerchief draping from his breast pocket. I had noticeable him in images earlier than: the wealthy chinese language formative years of Shanghai within the twenties, with a cigarette poised among the arms, the eyelids a section drooping, within the sort of the fashionably bored.