Cat Scratch Fever: Fictions

Robert Kelly, Author McPherson $18 (150p) ISBN 978-0-929701-10-3
These 31 fictions represent a remarkable matching of language and consciousness. Encompassing worlds of feeling in a mere two or three pages, Kelly uses language confidently but without bravado or pretension. His images are pure and sharply focused, giving these stories a hyperrealistic quality. In ``The Horseman,'' a boy watches a blacksmith nail a shoe onto a horse's foot, the hugeness of both animal and man dwarfing the boy's developing ego and instilling in him, in true Freudian fashion, both fear and hostility. In the delightfully comic ``Murder as Text,'' various professors try to identify the murderer of a libidinous colleague by linguistically deconstructing the erotic poem he was in the process of writing when he was killed. Kelly's skill at wordplay is especially evident in the section ``Russian Tales,'' which uses words in unconventional ways, shifting and changing meaning to create offbeat yet strangely pregnant fables. By means of language, Kelly ( Doctor of Silence ) invades our senses, bringing us to places in consciousness where we have never been and where we yearn to go, or which we long ago abandoned. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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