Monsieur Teste in America

Andrei Codrescu, Author Coffee House Press $10.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-918273-32-1
This collection of stories by the Romanian-born poet flies in the face of current literary trends. The language is lush, and the content has a political edge. The title story is a dialogue between the author's European and American selves. ""A Bar in Brooklyn,'' the most lucid of these surreal pieces, touches on fractured identity and sexual confusion. Listeners to National Public Radio know that Codrescu plays fast and loose with the English language, blending non sequiturs with Monty Python-like flights of fancy. Frequently, though, Monsieur Teste in America is as exasperating as it is clever. These story-meditations border on the sophomoric with lines like, ``The infinite . . . is a great influence on unfinished sentences.'' One yearns for the lyrical brevity of the poet's radio essays. In those, his imagination runs wild; here it often runs amok. Still, a playful mind will read, ``I'm from Venus, can you spare a lemon?'' and enjoy. (January)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
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