Zimzum

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Westview Press, Nov 10, 2005 - Fiction - 96 pages
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Call it zimzum: how we manage the scandal of our progress from desire to the void, through contraction and distractedness.

In this perilously original work, composed of six rigorously crafted parts—and informed by a desperately libidinous, grotesquely comic rage—one of the most controversial figures in contemporary American letters brilliantly captures our humanity and Zeitgeist. Central to the novel is the ravishing shriek of a man who seeks to preserve what little there is left to him.

It is as if his head were in an ever-tightening vise as he frantically seeks connection with others, knowing all the while the futility of the enterprise. He yearns for some carnal knowledge. He is obsessed with the successful operation of a sexual device. His lover is insensitive, self-absorbed. What is he—a former insane asylum inmate, whose motto used to be "share and share alike," but is now "fair is fair"—supposed to do?

Exuberant in the music of its ordinary utterances, anguished and poignant in its declaration of the facts of life, Zimzum is Lish's most compelling novel.

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Zimzum (Lish, Gordon)

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Lish has been compared to Joyce and Beckett, which means that only the most astute readers probably will like his books. Though itƒ¯‚¿‚½s not everyoneƒ¯‚¿‚½s cup, this brief 1993 novel ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Gordon Lish is the author of the novels Dear Mr. Capote, Peru, Extravaganza, and My Romance, and two story collections, What I Know So Far and Mourner at the Door. He lives in New York City.

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