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Alexander Theroux

Forfatter af Darconville's Cat

36+ Værker 1,951 Medlemmer 53 Anmeldelser 18 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Includes the name: Alexander Theroux


Værker af Alexander Theroux

Darconville's Cat (1981) 388 eksemplarer
The Primary Colors: Three Essays (1994) 292 eksemplarer
The Strange Case of Edward Gorey (2000) 286 eksemplarer
The Secondary Colors: Three Essays (1996) 168 eksemplarer
An Adultery: A Novel (1987) 135 eksemplarer
Three Wogs: A Novel (1972) 118 eksemplarer
Master Snickup's Cloak (1979) 92 eksemplarer
The Lollipop Trollops and Other Poems (1992) — Forfatter — 41 eksemplarer
Enigma of Al Capp (2002) 34 eksemplarer
Einstein's Beets (2017) 25 eksemplarer
Collected Poems (2015) 21 eksemplarer
Early Stories (2021) 16 eksemplarer
The schinocephalic waif (1975) 16 eksemplarer
The Great Wheadle tragedy (1975) 12 eksemplarer
Fables (2021) 11 eksemplarer
Later Stories (2022) 9 eksemplarer
Truisms (2023) 5 eksemplarer
Blue (1998) 3 eksemplarer
Watergraphs 3 eksemplarer
Five Poets (1966) 2 eksemplarer
Three Wogs & Theroux Metaphrastes (1975) 2 eksemplarer
The Language of Samuel Beckett (1968) 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

The Return of the Native (1878) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver7,954 eksemplarer
Hadrian the Seventh (1904) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver812 eksemplarer
The Best of Modern Humor (1983) — Bidragyder — 291 eksemplarer
Conjunctions: 30, Paper Airplane (1998) — Bidragyder — 11 eksemplarer
Mississippi Review: MR45 — Bidragyder — 4 eksemplarer

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Pisces season wouldn’t be complete without a foray into the fantastical realms illustrated by Brian Froud, so I’m glad I scooped this strange little book by Alexander Theroux a while back and saved it until now. Ironically, the story is far less filled with faeries than I am used to from a Froud book, but it still holds a certain fey quality. Theroux tells a tale of a pair of star-crossed lovers that centres around the titular cloak given from one to the other, which later becomes a symbol for the plagues that wracked Europe during the Middle Ages. For all that the characters of the story contain a certain amount of comedy (quietly ridiculous names and funny turns of language abound), the tale of Master Snickup and his love Superfecta is darkly grounded in the harshness of the real world. Froud’s limited palette of naturalist colours suffuses the story with a grounded tone that carries our protagonists through their love affair, Superfecta’s forced marriage, and Snickup’s monastic exile with an essence that feels borderline Biblical. Mirrored by Theroux’s bardic voice that pushes together antiquated rhythms with the occasional modernist vocabulary, the resulting narrative is an exercise in strangeness that is still surprisingly successful. We are drawn in to the majesty of Master Snickup’s cloak and beguiled by the fey creatures who come to call him neighbour, and are left wondering at the fate of the now almost-invisible Superfecta as her place in the narrative is taken by her bombastic husband. The tale concludes in an epic fashion, with an inventive set of compositions by Froud, as Snickup’s death brings the Black Death to Europe and the village that he left is in turn brought to its knees. Is this the faerie story that I expected Froud to have helmed: no; but, the mythical overtones of Theroux’s carefully wrought morality tale that keep us one step away from reality were a strange delight, nonetheless.… (mere)
JaimieRiella | 2 andre anmeldelser | Mar 1, 2023 |
In a word: Don't.

Laura Warholic is an unedited conglomeration of Theroux's writing over a twenty-year period. Ostensibly given a thin veneer of plot and character, this novel dedicates the bulk of its pages to essays on a variety of topics (for example, Democracy), and an embarrassing number of rants and screeds.

The essays come off well. Sure, they are out of place, and feel ham-handedly inserted into the prose, but they are generally entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking. The effect is similar to reading the pre-Objectivist and proto-Libertarian philosophy in de Sade's work (does the modern Right realize they are taking their Individualist philosophy from such a worthy libertine?), but de Sade cuts his philosophy with hard-core porn, while Theroux cuts his with day-to-day (I refuse to say quotidian) life in suburban Boston and an incredibly nonlinear cross-country road trip.

As for the rants, it is pretty clear that Theroux doesn't agree with any of them, for they are so terribly written that not even a supporter of the viewpoint in question could sit through one. Like the essays, they come out of nowhere, and feel wedged into the rest of the text - as if the author had this waiting in the wings and was just looking for an occasion to insert it. After enough of these, it becomes apparent that the novel is just a scaffolding on which to hang these various bits of writing, unsuitable for publishing on their own, that Theroux had lying around.

And the lists! When Laura jumps into punk rock, she doesn't listen to "bands like the Misfits and the Cramps, sometimes Crass". Instead, Theroux lists upwards of thirty bands, an amount that is neither illustrative nor exhaustive. It's like listening to a ten year-old autistic kid rattle off all the scores of baseball games he's never seen. This extends to the descriptions of crowds, in what could charitably be interpreted as Theroux trying to be funny, but really comes off as a failed attempt at using slang. Hang on, this excerpt from a rock show is going to be as painful for me as it is for you:
oafs with tattooed cheeks, nutboxes, pirate chicks, teenage girls in tube miniskirts and major lipstick, moshing party-stormers, Devoheads, Brechtian proles, halt-cranked groupies, rude goggle bunnies, metal morons, crueltoids, breatharians on meth, gutter foxes, pot orgasmists, stoned ponies with nipple rings, felchers, Goths with obscene words shaved into their hair, emo-punks, genderfuckers, martini vixens with fake eyelashes, dorky little poontang hounds, level-3 sex offenders, frowning ska-monks, vibration pixies, eerie hairball unidentifiables thrown up by one of the Milankovitch cycles of continental glaciation, dole-drawers, slaves who long for the shade and hirelings who wait for wages, and no end of fat, anti-intellectual Luddites in bat-black leather motorcycle hats and jackets with lightning.

Note the -oid suffix thrown in there. Unpopular since about 1961, Theroux still thinks it is funny, and inexplicably believes that Gen Xers use this as slang. It makes an appearance about every twenty pages.

And the caricatures! I almost gave this a second star as a collection of unfortunately-connected essays, but the tone-deaf and badly-drawn caricatures snatched that one right away. On top of the worst Black Pimp since Confederacy of Dunces (Whoa!), we have the Jew, the Racist Christian, the Butch Lesbian, the Flamboyant Gay, the Social Justice Warrior (are we allowed to say that now without laughing?), the Anti-Semite, each given a soapbox and thirty-odd pages of incoherent rant.

But enough, you say, tell me about the novel as a novel! Well (he says, knowing of Theroux's derision for this interjection, which is stated a mere sixty times in the novel), this is the story of Eugene Eyestones (if you think that name is bad, wait until you hear the clumsy nicknames people have for him - things like "E-squared" that, unlike nicknames, do not work as soon as they are uttered aloud) and Laura Warholic, who have a complicated relationship. They neither love each other, nor anyone else. Eugene, a pompous windbag, is a traumatized Viet Nam veteran when it suits the plot (i.e., rarely), and a stand-in for the author (no? you think he's a clever construction? read Theroux's opinions on music in Grammar of Rock, lifted practically straight from the mouth of this character) most other times. Laura is a miserable loser, with no discernible traits or personality, and is probably a stand-in for someone Theroux had a bad relationship with (I've known a Laura; they're not rare).

At around the 700-page mark, Theroux seems to realize he is writing a novel, and he begins to flesh out the characters and give them feelings, complexity, even moments of reflection. He tries to introduce plot complications and a finale, but these are so obvious that they seem inevitable rather than climatic. It is all too little, too late.

The text itself is described as "overwritten", but if anything it is underwritten. There is no coherence to the paragraphs, no connection between one sentence and another. Dialog is spoken without regard to what another character is saying, just one interjection after another. No editor had a hand in this work, and the joke that Theroux did not even bother to revise his first draft is more true than funny.

Given that this is presented as a satire, picking on the writing may seem unfair. But this is a near-900-page novel. If you can't write well, or can't be bothered to, then for the sake of all that is just and good (i.e., neither this novel nor anything in it) do not write 900 pages. Do what the loons at the anarchist bookstore do, and cut it short at around 75.
… (mere)
mkfs | 7 andre anmeldelser | Aug 13, 2022 |
Bloody brilliant
jaydenmccomiskie | 5 andre anmeldelser | Sep 27, 2021 |



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