Darconville’s Cat by Alexander Theroux

About Alexander Theroux: “Alexander Theroux is a writer who resists classification. His first book, Three Wogs (1972), is a triptych of novellas that examined the class and racial conflicts that occur between the archetypal Londoner and the inhabitants of the British Isles, the “wogs,” who are “not one of us.” This exceptional debut received a nomination for the National Book Award. Theroux’s second novel, Darconville’s Cat (1981), is widely considered his masterpiece. Anthony Burgess hailed it as one of the best 99 novels written in English since 1939. Darconville’s Cat is an exquisite novel of revenge and thwarted love. It too was nominated for a National Book Award. An Adultery (1987) is a detailed, fictional character study of the sin in question in a contemporary New England that still manages to evoke the echoes of its Puritanical past. Theroux has also published two widely regarded books of essays, The Primary Colors & The Secondary Colors (1994 & 1996), along with a collection of poems, The Lollipop Trollops & Other Poems (1992), as well as two monographs and several books of fables. Laura Warholic, or The Sexual Intellectual, published by Fantagraphics, [was] Theroux’s first novel in twenty years.” – Bookslut

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Caesarian & Euthanasia

The would-be mother would’ve heard the prognosis from the nurses before he came in. Breach. Heart rate. Distress. He’d be the first to say out loud the baby will be just fine. We do not have to wait. We can go to him. By now at the age of a hundred and three he has said this one thousand times. His own heart still strong. His back sort of straight. Nothing wrong with him but the world he’s stuck in. So he’s decided. He’s done. He buys a one-way ticket to Switzerland. A place where reason is legal. Caesar himself would have wanted the same. To pick the where and the when. Caesar who was never born but from a woman’s womb untimely ripped. He’d been crestfallen as a child to learn from an old textbook that the incision is not literally C-shaped. Euthanasia another term with so much tonal promise. Youth in Asia. To be born again on some pacific isle. Eternal childhood in the land of the rising run. His flight east lasts thirteen hours. A representative meets him at the airport, takes from him his weightless bag. Even at a hundred and three he resents the gesture. I’m no newborn, sir. My hand needs no holding. There was never any crying in his operating rooms. No legs in the air with wails and scripted breaths. No push push push, just one clean decisive pull. His own procedure is slotted for the following afternoon. Not in a hospital but a rest home. How nice. A rest in peace home. Leather couches and tea service. Chandeliers. The website lists options not unlike a menu. He used to lift newborns with that image in mind, a long list of possibilities, whispering to each of them you have no idea what you’re in for, do you? You weren’t ready to come, but we went in and got you anyway.

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Theology Lesson Five Hundred

For example; on this side of the daytime, the fictional example-subject written ‘bout in the book by the most holy Simply Duane, notices all is essentially empty. This, then, he also sprach, but this time doctor, a little bit differently; then the panicked mind will, 1. Assume that the real and fictional example-subject is dead, and, 2. Because the mind has been wired by the creator to be in Garden of Eden mode, it must do what is right, which, 3. Is to catch up with itself, and be dead and, 4. Take the fictional example-subject down dead, top to toes, and, that. That does explain. Does sure, and sure explain, many mysterious historical cases of sudden death. The sins of Adam and Eve—who were sure and sure wired to behave in the blissed-out perfected faux-environment of their Garden of Eden—threw them sure, and sure sure and sure out of the garden, into an imperfect world, for which they were sure, and sure ‘nuff, non-wired. And that. Dear Grandson. Is sure, and sure sure and sure the cause of. Spontaneous death. Also, put differently. All incurable illnesses. Mental illness of every kind. And the need for—and this deserves to be put even more differently—trucking companies sure and sure. Truck drivers. The clothing industry sure, sure, and sure—the entire transportation industry. The need to char food to make it edible, for sure. Piano moving free-lancers. The need to work at any job at all, for pay. The notion of pay. Of war. Coffee. Hashish. Sure, and sure. Sure and sure, and—as she and the trillion but probably far less yes people setting down faces set into wide open fat studybooks, the generation of which is likewise, yah, yah, necessitated by the sin-n-n-n of the first couple in that Garden they’d been handed, but the why is itself—buried deep in the pages of—yet more fat studybooks, offering explanations of why. Why, oh, why? When they had been handed everything? The first couple had screwed up and got fired from the ultimate do-nothing high-pay set-for-life jobs, eckeckduhduh-h-h-h-h-h—b-b-b-b-ut had they only stayed in the Garden, wring your hands for them class, wring, wring, your hands for them—these and those and all the other heavy fat studybooks would never have been written—as a matter of fact, the book itself would never have been invented because why have books in the Garden of Eden, and—yes tear your hair, beat your breasts, bite your lips bloody, for them and for them and for—so—the screaming priest—part time theology teacher—that day got dragged off the podium, tightly straightjacketed by two bearded big burlies, and whisked away for re-education, and possibly something better which the proper medication, salved over him the proper number of years, would bring him fat-back out ‘o his world of delusion, and. There he’d be picking up in his Garden of Eden again—his very own personal one. To boot.

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