I want to be adored. I can say this today because astrologer Rob Brezsny says I can, well, with this proviso: “that [I] also express [my] artful adoration for some worthy creature.” No, I don’t believe in astrology, but Brezsny’s advice still seems like a worthy undertaking; so, here goes: Dear Robert Coover, I have just finished reading Pricksongs and Descants (a first edition marked down from the penciled-in $45 to the stickered $7.50), and while I could gush about the sentential musicality; the formal ingenuity: the inventive modular structures, the ingenious use of ellipses, and the re-imaginings of fairy tales and legends; the virtuosic command of rhetorical devices; and the various transgressive moments, like the many genre- and other border-crossings, evinced in every one of the fictions contained in this collection; while I could relish explicating each one of those elements, it is, instead, how all of these elements cohere that most impresses, for that fusion results not in confusion but in a distinctive thing; a thing among things, yes, but a thing unlike the many, many other disposable and often forgettable things; this thing giving lie to the idea proffered in “Klee Dead,” one of your “Seven Exemplary Fictions,” that life is “but a caravan of lifelike forgeries,” for surely this thing I just finished reading is part of life and is anything but a lifelike forgery, this collection still reminding me of the many lifelike forgeries around me.
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.