Vaseline Buddha

Jung Young Moon, trans. from the Korean by Yewon Jung. Deep Vellum, $14.95 trade paper (184p) ISBN 978-1941920-34-3
Jung’s entertaining, automatically written novel begins with the narrator desiring to tell a story after the attempted robbery of his house. But the narrator soon begins meditating on what the beginning of his story actually should be, and decides to write a story that is “nothing at all” and “about the difficulty of existence, the difficulty of talking about the difficulty of existence, the double difficulty of it.” By freely associating, Jung creates a dizzying world for readers to get lost in, just as the narrator himself gets lost in attempting to tell his own story. The narrator spends time in Budapest, New York, Paris, and Rome but mixes imagination with the real events that happened to him in these places, which creates an intentionally anti-realist non-narrative. The narrator’s thoughts repeatedly return to some subjects, notably objects floating down rivers that serve as reminders and meditations on what makes a story. This discursive book—sometimes frustrating, sometimes beautiful—reminds readers of Beckett, one of the narrator’s literary obsessions. (July)
Reviewed on: 12/05/2016
Release date: 07/01/2016
Ebook - 184 pages - 978-1-941920-35-0
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