George Anderson: Notes for a Love Song in Imperial Time

Peter Dimock, Author
Peter Dimock. Dalkey Archive, $14 trade paper (158p) ISBN 978-1-56478-801-6
Open Ebook - 81 pages - 978-1-56478-834-4
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Bordering on narrative madness (and/or genius), history meets method in Dimock's second novel, an experimental instruction manual aimed at revolutionizing the way we experience the past. The novel takes the form of a letter from Theo Fales, editor and memoir ghostwriter for former CIA operatives, to David Kallen, a government official who directed Special Forces trainers to torture him before signing a document that led to the legalization of torture by the George W. Bush administration. Fales attempts to teach Kallen a method he devised as a, "means by which every person rids the self of its inordinate attachment to empire and creates reciprocity." This method, which is to be contrived over the course of 32 days, requires Kallen to compile numerous interrelated lists, scenes, and tables. It isn't a light read, or a book for the light-of-reading heart, with Fales's references to Greek mythology, the Jesuits, and Biblical excerpts making it clear that he views this method as not only a new way of interpreting history, but potentially a new Bible. But for the attentive reader, this is a hypnotic treasure trove of poetry-like prose, of repetition poignant enough to make the structural challenge completely worth tackling. (Mar.)
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