The Logic of the World and Other Fictions

Robert Kelly, Author . McPherson & Co. $24 (223p) ISBN 978-0-929701-89-9

An omnibus of short fiction by novelist, poet, and professor Kelly reworks classical myths and playfully original ideas in exquisite, descriptive prose. The mythological Andromeda (“a lovely ailment of the mind that is still very much alive”) is chained to a radiator, baring her breasts to anyone who enters the room in the hope that the legendary Perseus will someday rescue her. The title story finds the famed knight Percival intent on slaying the evil dragon, then backing down when the dragon turns out to be wise, well-spoken, and peace-loving. Kelly finds beauty in the V-formation of flying geese (“Do you have a Form in which you move all the days of your life, until you rest peacefully at night?”); in a meticulous 15-page description of every object in a so-called simple room in a chalet; and in a couple's cozy management of the woman's apartment (“He had his two meters, she had her five meters, and that's what the world is like”). Occasionally abstruse and elliptical, though always thoughtful, these stories showcase Kelly's subtle, erudite wit and enviable craftsmanship. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
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