The context is a nature 'personalised' in the form of its animals - animals as the screen on which humans project their aspirations and their failures.
In the first tale, the female protagonist suffers a series of disappointments - in her art, her civilisation, and the violation of her body. There remains for her only the self-denial and cleansing of consumption by an animal.
In 'The White Room', the hero betrays trusts and friendships, culminating in the seduction of his friend's wife. The gift of an animal seems to unload the guilt and treachery on to the beast itself.
The Guardians are the fantastic terra cotta animals that guard Chinese tombs. A powerful boss tries to salve his soul through a deal with nature. Only the lifeless guardian statues hide the void, however. The living animals are let down - along with the humans themselves.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.49(d)|
About the Author
The distinguished poet, novelist and Booker Prize nominee John Fuller has written of Fraser's fiction:
- One of the most extraordinary publishing events of the past few years has been the rapid, indeed insistent, appearance of the novels of John Fraser. There are few parallels in literary history to this almost simultaneous and largely belated appearance of a mature œuvre, sprung like Athena from Zeus's forehead; and the novels in themselves are extraordinary. I can think of nothing much like them in fiction. Fraser maintains a masterfully ironic distance from the extreme conditions in which his characters find themselves. There are strikingly beautiful descriptions, veiled allusions to rooted traditions, unlikely events half-glimpsed, abrupted narratives, surreal but somehow apposite social customs.
Fraser's work is conceived on a heroic scale in terms both of its ideas and its situational metaphors. If he were to be filmed, it would need the combined talents of a Bunuel, a Gilliam, a Cameron. Like Thomas Pynchon, whom in some ways he resembles, Fraser is a deep and serious fantasist, wildly inventive. The reader rides as on a switchback or luge of impetuous attention, with effects flashing by at virtuoso speeds. The characters seem to be unwitting agents of chaos, however much wise reflection the author bestows upon them. They move with shrugging self-assurance through circumstances as richly-detailed and as without reliable compass-points as a Chinese scroll.