Fourteen Fraught Fables and One Debatable Day
As suggested by the title Fourteen Fraught Fables and One Debatable Day, this book is composed of two independent parts. The fourteen fables are brief subjective tales, some which might be called surreal, others simply fantastic, but all of them bizarre
products of a rare imagination. They take place in a world which seems at first very like our own, but which by the end of each has altered into something disconcertingly unexpected. A characteristic example: through sheer will power, the narrator rides his exercise bicycle off its stand and into realms he had never dreamt of.
The longer work, One Debatable Day, tells of the humorously narrated quest by Valentine—very much of an Everyman in his virtues and shortcomings—to find out what the particular day of the story should be about. This proves more difficult than he (or the reader) might have thought, since Valentine’s commitment to simple honesty and his respect for sincerity in relationships are shared by few of the wide range of people he encounters. Not until he has shaken himself free from exaggerated aestheticism, political hypocrisy and self-serving religious formulations does he finally gain insight into what the day should be about, aided by a presumed guardian angel and a movie-buff cavalry horse. His search is fulfilled in extended episodes of original humor, both high and low, playing out against the background of the desire of every human being to understand how each of one’s days ought to be lived.
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