Collage: A Novel

Collage: A Novel

by Ted Wojtasik
     
 

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"What do you say to a young man who is dying? And if that young man is dying of AIDS and was your lover whom you've left one year past, what do you then do? In Ted Wojtasik's complex novel of gay love, the problem isn't one of coming out of the closet - it's one of maturing into responsible love. And Wojtasik mixes the unlikely combinations of Central European history… See more details below

Overview

"What do you say to a young man who is dying? And if that young man is dying of AIDS and was your lover whom you've left one year past, what do you then do? In Ted Wojtasik's complex novel of gay love, the problem isn't one of coming out of the closet - it's one of maturing into responsible love. And Wojtasik mixes the unlikely combinations of Central European history, Admiral Peary's North Pole Expedition, the artistry of collage, a cross-dressing singer, an upcoming gay playwright thwarted by the national onset of AIDS, and homo-erotic love into just such a life object lesson for his young protagonist, Zee." To reach such responsibility and understanding, Zee must shuffle memories of his grandfather, a resistance fighter in World War II; his research at the National archives into Admiral Peary's letters; his collage art; his obsessive sexual encounters, and mostly his leaving Matthew for..."Oh, Matthew, everything. Everything seemed such a burden. The relationship, the city, the Archives, my father's carping about job security. Just everything. I couldn't separate one thing from another. It all just formed a huge rectangle of burden when all I wanted to do was to have the time to make collages." Of course, Wojtasik's controlling metaphor is just that: a collage.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
True to its title, Wojtasik's second novel is an assemblage of narratives told by Zeljko Matejcic, or "Zee" for short. Zee, a Yugoslav-American living in Washington, D.C., is himself an assemblage of things-an archivist for the National Archives; a young gay man negotiating romance and sex in the early to mid-1980s, just as AIDS rears its head; and, eventually, a successful artist who creates collages. He tells his story as he would assemble one of his collages-arranging scraps of narratives on a canvas to tell a disjointed but coherent story. Wojtasik's technique, if a bit studied and self-conscious, still manages to be effective, because Zee himself can only make sense of his world by piecing things together in a patchwork way. As Zee works at the archives, cataloguing the journals and letters from Robert Edwin Peary's 1909 voyage to the North Pole, he falls in love with a hustler named Mark. He also reflects on his grandfather's past-including the older man's troubling role in turbulent Yugoslav politics. When the world and its pressures get to be too much for him, Zee loses himself in his collages. Though the narrative doesn't quite gel in the end and some of the writing flirts with clich , Wojtasik has crafted a compelling experiment that manages to pack some emotional punches. "What do you say to a young man dying?" Zee asks throughout the novel. His assorted memories and reflections are a noble attempt at an answer. (May 30) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781931982337
Publisher:
Livingston Press
Publication date:
05/28/2004
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.74(d)

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