Journalist (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))

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9781564781659: Journalist (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))
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A blend of postmodern metafiction and old-style bedroom farce, The Journalist explores the elusive, sometimes illusive, boundaries between facts and the fictions we weave around them. The novel's protagonist, living at a time that might be the present in a city that might be anywhere, has decided for reasons of mental hygiene to keep a detailed record of his thoughts, words, and deeds. Very quickly, however, the project begins to absorb his entire life, as the increasingly meticulous recording of experience threatens to supplant experience itself. To make matters worse, what he records offers its own grist for worry: his devoted wife suddenly grows secretive, his equally devoted mistress turns evasive, his frustratingly independent son might or might not be visiting that same mistress behind his back, and his closest friend begins acting in mysterious ways (and is it just his imagination, or is this friend having clandestine meetings with his wife?). His ever more convoluted perceptions breed a dark muddle of suspicion, leading to a climax that is at once intensely funny and excruciatingly poignant.

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About the Author:

Marie Chaix was born in Lyons and raised in Paris, and is the author of nine books. The Summer of the Elder Tree, a memoir and meditation on the theme of separation, and her first book in more than a decade, was published in Paris in 2005, and will appear from Dalkey Archive Press in 2013.

From Kirkus Reviews:

There are no safe places for the disintegrating self, not even the private journal; that is what the unnamed ``journalist'' discovers in this teasing, lightly involving novel from Mathews (Singular Pleasures, 1993, etc.). Middle-aged, middle-class, he lives in a college town in an unidentified country. He has an unglamorous office job, a loving wife (Daisy), an equally loving mistress (Colette), and a lovable if enigmatic son in high school (Gert). Daisy and his doctor, worried about his mental state, suggest he keep a journal, and he starts his new project with zest, seeing it as a ``a hold on reality,'' a way of reconciling his two selves--the one that experiences life with the one that observes it. Soon enough, however, this journal, which he had envisioned as an instrument of control, turns into a tyrant that controls him. He becomes obsessed with the right way of classifying experience, and the margins sprout headings and subheadings like weeds. Meanwhile, his relationships are suffering. Daisy turns secretive, and his best friend, Paul, is avoiding him. Could they be having an affair? Why is Gert suddenly so friendly with Colette: More mischief? And why is there never enough time for his lonely task of keeping his journal and getting it right? He cuts back on sleep (his love life is already a thing of the past) and uses the office for his writing, until his boss forces him to take indefinite leave. ``I've lost them,'' he acknowledges, referring to all the people in his life, just before his final dissolution and hospitalization, when a new narrative voice supplies rather too pat explanations for all the puzzles. Not as bleak as it sounds. Mathews chronicles his diarist's dilemma with humor and gentle irony; his slide into the abyss occasions more bemusement than terror. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Dalkey Archive Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Dalkey Archive ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. A blend of postmodern metafiction and old-style bedroom farce, The Journalist explores the elusive, sometimes illusive, boundaries between facts and the fictions we weave around them. The novel s protagonist, living at a time that might be the present in a city that might be anywhere, has decided for reasons of mental hygiene to keep a detailed record of his thoughts, words, and deeds. Very quickly, however, the project begins to absorb his entire life, as the increasingly meticulous recording of experience threatens to supplant experience itself. To make matters worse, what he records offers its own grist for worry: his devoted wife suddenly grows secretive, his equally devoted mistress turns evasive, his frustratingly independent son might or might not be visiting that same mistress behind his back, and his closest friend begins acting in mysterious ways (and is it just his imagination, or is this friend having clandestine meetings with his wife?). His ever more convoluted perceptions breed a dark muddle of suspicion, leading to a climax that is at once intensely funny and excruciatingly poignant. Seller Inventory # AAO9781564781659

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Book Description Dalkey Archive Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Dalkey Archive ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. A blend of postmodern metafiction and old-style bedroom farce, The Journalist explores the elusive, sometimes illusive, boundaries between facts and the fictions we weave around them. The novel s protagonist, living at a time that might be the present in a city that might be anywhere, has decided for reasons of mental hygiene to keep a detailed record of his thoughts, words, and deeds. Very quickly, however, the project begins to absorb his entire life, as the increasingly meticulous recording of experience threatens to supplant experience itself. To make matters worse, what he records offers its own grist for worry: his devoted wife suddenly grows secretive, his equally devoted mistress turns evasive, his frustratingly independent son might or might not be visiting that same mistress behind his back, and his closest friend begins acting in mysterious ways (and is it just his imagination, or is this friend having clandestine meetings with his wife?). His ever more convoluted perceptions breed a dark muddle of suspicion, leading to a climax that is at once intensely funny and excruciatingly poignant. Seller Inventory # AAO9781564781659

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