Happiness: A Novel in Verse

Happiness: A Novel in Verse

by Frederick Pollack
     
 

On X-day the universe turns inside-out, leaving an extensive "Zone" to the controls of a leftist cabal. An able-bodied Stephen Hawking--the mastermind--lurks in the margins. His henchman heads a posse of enforcers who dispense Dante-esque rewards and punishments. This novel in verse introduces science fiction to narrative poetry. Frederick Pollack's short, syncopated…  See more details below

Overview

On X-day the universe turns inside-out, leaving an extensive "Zone" to the controls of a leftist cabal. An able-bodied Stephen Hawking--the mastermind--lurks in the margins. His henchman heads a posse of enforcers who dispense Dante-esque rewards and punishments. This novel in verse introduces science fiction to narrative poetry. Frederick Pollack's short, syncopated lines read as easily as prose, but with powerful poetic reverberations.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
This novel in free verse quatrains develops an odd and choppy style, with a jagged syntax, to tell its 32 episodes, set after an apocalyptic revolution. Pollackþs strange utopia results from a time-space inversion engineered by Stephen Hawking, an ally in the leftish revolt. A wall arises, separating þthe world we knowþ from the new þArdena,þ where all incorrect behavior is transformed by the þAvengers of Wrong,þ a hit squad of the righteous that heals the sick (from AIDS to acne) and punishes the oppressive, though sometimes theyþre þirradiated with/knowledge and redeemed.þ We follow the squad as it also gives ghetto kids a þcritical languageþ to understand their false consciousness (sounds suspiciously like Maoist self-purges) and watch the avengers banish recalcitrant abusers and misogynists. The enemy also includes anti-abortionists, religious fundamentalists, and racists. After War Crimes Trials airs on TV, executives are made to shovel toxic waste, and the new art is Stalinist without the lies, though Pollack doesnþt see the oxymoron in this. Just as each character begins to enjoy lifeþthe fat are skinny, the stupid made smartþthe revolution falters, the Wall collapses, and Pollackþs dream-time vision turns to nightmare. This utopia built from desire canþt help but reveal its fault-lines, which include confusingly truncated verse.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781885266583
Publisher:
Story Line Press
Publication date:
04/28/1998
Pages:
156
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.46(d)

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