Nineteen Ninety-eight Point Six

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University of Alabama Press, 2002 - Fiction - 261 pages
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Fetishists, dreamers, voyeurs, internet porn addicts, granola-heads, drug dealers, dorks, liars, layabouts, workaholics, sex maniacs, TV junkies, compulsives, neurotics, intellectuals, idealists: graduate students, all. In this book about the complicated experience of pursuing a Ph.D., Matthew Roberson details the curious world of a group stuck between childhood and adulthood, idealism and surrealism, representation and reality.

What he wants he thinks is to screw things up. If you screw things up they fall apart. If things fall apart then you're under the skin of the world. And when you reemerge when things come together again they come together differently. Different than before. So what does this mean it means he wants to fail. Believe it or not. He aspires to failure. It's possible however he realizes to fail at failing. Or to make of it a howling success.

In this, his first novel, Roberson rewrites Ronald Sukenick's classic fiction of the sixties, 98.6, simultaneously parodying earlier experimental life and art, while exposing present day vacuousness and alienation. It's a hilarious send-up of American narcissism, wherein Roberson brilliantly reveals video culture and the web-cam as nineties embodiments of metafictional self-fascination.


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User Review  - abirdman - LibraryThing

A quirky, odd homage to the (also quirky, odd) book 98.6 by Ron Sukenick, also published by the Fiction Collective some 25 years earlier. Part experimental novel, part MFA thesis, part dinner table ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Matt Roberson is a Brittain Teaching Fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology. He has a Ph.D. in English from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an M.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University. He has won the Milwaukee Fiction Award and worked as Editor-in-Chief for Cream City Review. His book Musing the Mosaic: Collected Essays on Ronald Sukenick is forthcoming from SUNY Press. 1998.6 is his first book of fiction.

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