By Gary Lutz
Calamari Press, 2011
120 pages / $13 Buy from SPD
It’s no wonder that someone who might be said to live in the sentence would apply its logic—and its subversions—to his lens on the higher-order structures of life. In Divorcer, Gary Lutz tinkers with each level of human-linguistic interaction, cascading from social power structures, to family dynamics, personal relationships, full-scale utterances, isolated sentences, words, morphemes and phonemes, with an eye to at-once humorous and devastating exposure of the failures of empathy and failures of semantic coherence echoing throughout.
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September 12th, 2011 / 12:00 pm
“DIVORCER is a collection of seven harrowing and hyperprecise short stories about ruinous relationships and their aftershocks.” $13
“A Mortal Affect is a satire of meaning systems targeting the role bureaucracy and cultural assumptions play in creating, distorting, and replicating the things we believe to be true. Informed by an absurdism in the Modernist vein, the novel is a celebration of error and folly that questions the wisdom of conviction and the faith in metaphysics. These themes play out in a fictional world inhabited by mortals and immortals, the oppressed and the oppressors. The former understand their condition of being oppressed but have no concept of freedom, while the latter emulate mortals but lack the ability to eat, reproduce, or die, even by suicide. Never allegorical or polemical, the novel operates comfortably within the bounds of comedy, avoiding the earnestness and self-conscious urgency common to the novel of ideas.” $18
“My writing isn’t a career or a craft or a hobby or anything like that. It is more like a tiny annex to my life, a little crawl space in which I occasionally end up by accident in the dark.” — Gary Lutz, interviewed by David Winters @ 3:AM Magazine. Also: Lutz is reading tonight at the Soda Series.
The 7th issue of the Wag’s Revue is now online, & includes a new interview with Gary Lutz by Dylan Nice: “I have too a hard time picturing anyone ever turning the pages of one of my books to worry about what that person might make of having ended up in the privacy of my paragraphs, though my heart no doubt goes out all the same.” It also contains new work by Jen Percy and an interview with Paul Harding, as well as a compelling “frenetic examination of self-loathing in the online era” by Mitch Salm.
A letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 8, 1988, from Gary Lutz: