Life in the Temperate Zone and Other Stories: And Other Stories

Robert Wexelblatt, Author
Robert Wexelblatt, Author Rutgers University Press $18.95 (249p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1535-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Intellectually, if not emotionally, absorbing, Wexelblatt's first collection of short fiction must be admired for its academic brilliance and sophisticated wit, but it probably won't tug any heartstrings or inspire fits of chuckling. The intellectual dilettantes in these 14 vignettes use elegant language sparkling with clever metaphors and imaginative analogies to scrutinize everyday events with a microscopic eye, perform elaborate character studies and examine such philosophical issues as Art vs. Life, Illusion vs. Reality, Man vs. Nature. Whether he is a ``suburban anthropologist'' studying the guests at his daughter's high school graduation party, a professor lecturing on the relationship between Edgar Allen Poe and baseball, or a musicology student taking lessons on Scarlatti from a professional wrestler, the hero is typically an emotionally crippled academic who pursues, and attempts to understand the nature of, love. Best read with dictionary in hand, this dense gallimaufry of intellectual games may prove rewarding to those intelligent and patient enough to penetrate it. (May)
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