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In the Penny Arcade: Stories (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))

Steven Millhauser

371 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1564781828 / ISBN 13: 9781564781826
Published by Dalkey Archive Press, 1985
Used Condition: Very Good
From Better World Books: West (Reno, NV, U.S.A.)

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Ships from Reno, NV. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP89310288

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Bibliographic Details

Title: In the Penny Arcade: Stories (American ...

Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press

Publication Date: 1985

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 1st Dalkey Archive Ed.

About this title


The seven stories of In the Penny Arcade blend both the real and the fantastic in a seductive mix that illuminates the full range of Steven Millhauser's gifts, from "August Eschenburg, " the story of the clockmaker's son whose extraordinary talent for creating animated figures is lost on a world whose taste for the perverse and crude supercedes that of the refined and beautiful, to "Cathay, " a kingdom whose wonders include elaborate landscape paintings executed on the eyelids and nipples of court ladies.


Dalkey Archive Press brings back into print Millhauser's classic and acclaimed stories in their American Literature series. The imagery alone is stunning, but coupled with Millhauser's insights into human flights and foibles, these fictions hold both truth and a surreal, disturbing beauty.

Surely novelist Kirsten Bakis (Lives of the Monster Dogs) and Millhauser in his story "August Eschenburg" had the same dream the same night about their characters. Both are named August, both are creators, and both must confront the troubling issues between what is human and what is humanlike. August Eschenburg creates automatons with such art that they appear to be alive--for very brief performances. His art is copied and subverted by Hausenstein, who builds what the audiences seem to want: automatons whose sexual characteristics are grossly exaggerated in huge rolling hips, leering faces, and large breasts. Art falls prey to popular entertainment when August's benefactor dumps him for--you guessed it--the rosier robot. Like Kafka's "Hunger Artist," August as artist will be drawn back to his art by an urge stronger than mere economics, an urge that applies to artists such as independent press publishers as well!

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