DISTRACTED 2nd Edition

Jalal Toufic, Author . Tuumba $12.95 (134p) ISBN 978-1-931157-04-9

This year has already seen the publication of Toufic's Undying Love, or Love Dies (Post Apollo), a book that among other things unforgettably re-writes various versions of the Orpheus myth, as well as the release of a "revised and expanded" version of (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (also from Post Apollo), first published in 1993, and written for "mortals to death." (Vampires) is a sort of sequel to Toufic's 1991 debut Distracted , explicitly written for the living and here becoming what Toufic calls an "untimely collaboration" with the author of the original edition and of (Vampires) too. As one proceeds through the book's aphoristic prose paragraphs, very different eras and states of being seem to flow along and past one another and through the speaker's utterly unique sensibility. The book is thus not so much about what happens when Raymond Roussel repeats a sentence but changes billard (pool table) to pillard (plunderer), or about theories of the effects of "surpassing disaster" on cultures (including Jewish and Shi'ite) and literatures, or about reactions to how love, drunkenness and distraction are rendered by (and in) the deeply interconnected media of memory, film and language. Rather, the book records a kind of double or even multiple experience of these things (what Toufic elsewhere calls an "over-turn"), with eternal recurrence and total dissolution as its horizons. There is nothing else in literature like it. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/17/2003
Release date: 01/01/2003
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