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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft

I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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Following last year's enthusiastically received reissue of Charles Portis's novels The Dog of the South and Norwood comes the republication of The Masters of Atlantis, the third in Overlook's reissues of the novels of this American master. This unforgettable novel centers on Lamar Jimmerson, a man in the front ranks of the modern-day Gnomon Society, the international fraternal order dedicated to preserving the arcane wisdom of the lost city of Atlantis. Stationed in France in 1917, Jimmerson comes across a little book crammed with Atlantean puzzles, Egyptian riddles, and extended alchemical metaphors, the Codex Pappus — said to be the sacred Gnomonic text. Soon he is basking in the lore of lost Atlantis, convinced that his mission on earth is to administer and expand the ranks of this noble brotherhood. Taking us through the entire New Cycle of Gnomonism — through the publication of Jimmerson's own Gnomonic texts, through the scandalous schism that rocks the Gnomonic community, through Jimmerson's disastrous bid for the governorship of Indiana, to the fateful gathering of Gnomons in a mobile-home park in East Texas — Masters of Atlantis is a cockeyed journey into an America of misfits and con men, oddballs and innocents. It is quintessential Portis.

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