Rupert: A Confession

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Author, Michele Hutchison, Translator , trans. from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison. Open Letter $14.95 (131p) ISBN 978-1-934824-09-2

In his first novel published in English, a troubling tale set in an unnamed European city, Dutch poet and editor Pfeijffer skirts a fine line between the literary and the prurient. In a first-person “confession” to a jury over the course of three “hearings,” the suave, dissembling narrator Rupert (calling himself alternately Rupert the Rightly, Rub-Off Rupert and Rupert the Unrescuable) delivers a long-winded buildup to what is a sexual crime he may or may not have committed. A habitué of the Sexyland peep show parlor, Rupert falls in love there with a lovely, green-eyed femme fatale named Mira. His worship affects his ability to sustain an erection, and Mira leaves him for a mutual acquaintance, with whom, she assures him, she has a vigorous sexual relationship. Devastated, he takes up his favorite activity, which is observing other people (e.g., stalking), and the street scene he comes upon, whether a figment of his warped imagination or the truth, decides his fate. The author insinuates crisp, titillating description and delights in relaying voyeurism, presenting a deliberate provocation to readers. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/27/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
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