Aviary Slag: Stories

Jacques Servin, Author F2c $11.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-932511-92-8
Servin's 75 convoluted, highly experimental short stories--reprinted from magazines like Bomb and Exquisite Corpse--amount to a phantasmagoric look at the cultural debris of contemporary life. Full of word games and startling non sequiturs, the pieces are narrative fragments, hallucinatory visions or short parables (most are less than two pages) concerned with a characteristic theme of postmodern culture, such as commerce and art, the environment and the city, sexuality and the apocalypse. Among the more memorable stories are ""The Conversion of New York Into Birds' Nests,"" a bureaucratic account of a pastoral fantasy (""we set to work with one hundred thousand pick-axes, three missives in fifteen million cc's""); ""Wife. Then Event,"" in which the narrator's wife turns into a boat, sinks to a silty ocean floor and is rescued; and ""Glue In the Melting Pot,"" a surreal account of a topsy-turvy city overrun by animals and humans with freakish powers. Servin's disjointed fiction, accompanied here by an index (E: Ecologists, Edible guns, Effete, Etruscans, Euphoria, Exegesis, Explosives) and a preface inviting us to read in a nonlinear sequence, aptly evokes the fragmentation of the contemporary world; yet his illogical prose is often more maddening than illuminating, leaving his underlying intentions largely opaque. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-0-932511-91-1
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