Titel: How Did You Sleep?
Autor/en: Paul Glennon
Oktober 2000 - kartoniert - 155 Seiten
Paul Glennon makes a commanding debut with a writing style that is both quirky and elusive. His stories -- strange, yet funny -- are about madmen, paranoiacs and the allegorically burdened. For the characters in these stories life is a board game to which we have lost, or perhaps never had, the instructions. Their predicaments are impossible, absurd but strangely genuine. A husband wonders if his wife has always been made of wood. A scientist suspects his left hand is plotting against him. A tourist visits a museum dedicated to his own failed romance. The world is trying to communicate something to these characters, but they cannot interpret it.
These stories navigate an unusual course between science fiction, satire and psychology. It makes for a journey that is strange, disturbing and surreally comic.
The Museum of the Decay of Our Love My Babylon Cells How Did You Sleep? The Terror The Triangle Man The Bear Story One Hand Self-Loathing Stymies Council Reminiscence Chrome The Manikin Via Crucis: A Retrospective A History of My Mistakes Touched Icarus's Sister Save the Barbers An Anthology of Nestorian Literature Our Flotation on the Bourse The Secret Agent
Paul Glennon, born in England but resident in Ottawa since 1975, has been published in Descant, Matrix, Canadian Fiction Magazine, and the Blue Penny Quarterly. He has an MA from the University of Ottawa and currently works as a Human Factors specialist -- which means that he attempts to encourage software to work the way humans expect it to.
'Glennon, however, is an inspired and skillful writer. His rhythm is nearly flawless, and I ended up wishing he had written these as prose poems. "Chrome" is one story that is beautifully realized: a man awakes to find that everything has a sheen of chrome. The narrator's fascination leads him inward and away from people, towards (ironically) the almost hyper-delicious nature of the visual and sensual. Sometimes the surface of things has its compensations.' -- Andrew Lesk Canadian Literature 'Paul Glennon is a rare bird. You would never guess it from his photo on the final page of this debut collection. He stands quite ordinarily under a snowy spruce tree in what could easily be Ottawa, his home since 1975. Contextually Canadianized, he squarely faces the camera, quietly earnest and unthreatening. It's a perfectly expected portrait of a fledgling Canuck writer -- and perfectly misleading. This bird's song is complex, refreshingly impudent and previously unknown.'In One Hand, a man tries to piece together the final weeks of a friend's life from the scribbled notes he has left in an edition of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks. The friend, having by his own admission not 'an artistic bone in [his] body,' borrows da Vinci's technique of using left-hand, mirror-image writing, in hopes that the left-hand/right-brain neural connection might stimulate his creative side. As his left-hand notes produce involuntary palindromes, anagrams and increasingly mysterious poetry, his right-hand, analytical prose tries to make sense of the psychical Pandora's box he's opened. The final left-hand note offers two riddles that explain the friend's untimely death.'The Museum of the Decay of Our Love describes a scholar's visit to a Central American history museum. The tale hovers dreamlike between dry events and the inner sparks they ignite. The museum's inert displays, steeped in the mythology of conquest and revolution, become interior metaphors for the man's own failed ambition in love. What feels initially too schematic evolves into a subtle probing of how external things morph into symbols as they enter the mind. The award-winning title story offers a bracing and revealing reconception of a very mundane sort of domestic squabbling. Other tales amuse with their satirical quirks, or wrest attention with deft observation.'In Self-Loathing Stymies Council, we meet Mayor Nolan Plunge, a grandstanding windbag who bleats to council that self-loathing is "a Nessus's shirt" he wears daily. In Chrome, we're treated to a fluid metallic world evoked with keen imagination and riveting detail.'Glennon's charms have much to do with his originality, a willingness to veer from the safer formal path. Some stories feel overly glib or disappointingly contrived, and his repeated authorial winking is sometimes too obvious. But the eccentric and penetrating psyche at work here should not be missed.' -- Jim Bartley Globe and Mail 'In his first collection of short stories, How Did You Sleep? (Porcupine's Quill, 2000), Ottawa writer Paul Glennon eschews dirty realism and thinly-veiled autobiography for clever conceits and absurdly-extended metaphors. In one story, the president of a corporation is voted out of power by his executive board, which then votes unanimously to change him into a bear. In another, a man awakes to discover that his entire world appears to him as being made of chrome. Fiction which is funny and smart, without being either cloying or disposable, is a rare commodity in Canadian literature.' -- Nathan Whitlock Danforth Review