The Play, and Other Stories

Stephen Dixon, Author Coffee House Press $9.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-918273-45-1
Dixon ( Garbage ) is preoccupied with deathby accident or suicide, old age or murderwhich may or may not have occurred. The title story depicts a writer suffering from a familiar maladywriter's block: ``Maybe he has said it all.'' The writer dreams up plays: two actors digging themselves deeper into holes in the sand who are threatened by a rising tide; a rape in an abandoned shack. But technical problems such as the need for close-ups (which cannot be achieved in theater) and such questions as partial versus total nudity eat away at his resolve to begin. Dixon's people are intelligent, imaginative creations, humorous and long-suffering, somehow paralyzed or stagnating. The 45-year-old who quits his menial restaurant job analyzes it thusly in ``The Clean-Up Man'': ``Maybe that's what was wrong with me all these twenty, twenty-five years. I never once lost control.'' (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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