spuytenduyvil

 

Vienna ØØ

Eugene Garber

cover and incidental art by Lynn Hassan

ISBN 1-933132-14-0      $14.95

 

Employing fanciful and sometimes unsettling juxtapositions of archetypes, ordinary objects, and sentient beings culled from a variety of cultural sources, Lynn Hassan performs a kind of visual alchemy that prompts us to revisit and reconsider their meanings.

     Cynthia Farnell

 

 Eugene Garber vivifies his characters in the most dazzling prose written anywhere. Indeed, language is a demonic force in these fables, saturating 1900 Vienna in strange colors, soaking into the soul like lysergic acid.

     Eugene Mirabelli, author of The Passion of Terri Heart

 

"What if a person passing through this deeply ambiguous conduit were to lose sight of the border between dream and reality? . . . only we know how infinitely more exciting it is to live there than along the humdrum margin between life and death." These quotes from Eugene Garber's lush, elegant exploration of Vienna at the turn of the century might be referring to his own giddily postmodern writing. Vienna ØØ, which I loved, is funny and dark, mythic and modern. And sexy."

     Lynda Schor, author of The Body Parts Shop

 

In stories that travel from the cultural center of Europe to the primitive heart of the Amazon, Garber inhabits a charged historical moment to probe—and play with—deep intellectual and aesthetic dualities: art and science, genius and madness, passion and polite society. Vienna ØØ is a delicious mobius strip of a book that examines the contradictions of the human mind and spirit. A feast.

     Ron Maclean, author of Blue Winnetka Skies

 

In an era of endless spats over whether contemporary literature should be "experimental" or somehow more "humane," Gene Garber quietly persists in producing work that is both—a rich display of language as a solid, corporal, but  also lyrical thing, a chronicle of the imagined lives of characters, some of them our own gods of the previous century, who gloriously bleed and smell and sing and die. The stories in Vienna ØØ are anything but quiet. Flush with painting and music, Wagner and Vienna, egos and art and sex, they take their readers on a wild ride through that city and that time, through the whole dream/nightmare of an overarching Gesamtkunstwerk that fuels their characters' lives.  History and art, Garber always reminds us, are not interesting hobbies. They have everything to do with life and death.

     Joyce Hinnefeld, Tell Me Everything and Other Stories

Eugene K. Garber is a Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of English at The University at albany. His previous publications include Metaphysical Tales, winner of the 1981 Associated Writing Programs Award for Short fiction, and The Historian, winnter of TriQuarterly's 1992 William Goyen Prize for Fiction. He is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation.