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Wilson: A Consideration of the Sourcesby David Mamet
Synopses & Reviews
When the Internet?and the collective memory of the 21st century?crashes, the past is reassembled from the downloaded memories of Ginger, wife of ex-President Wilson. The transcripts take the reader on an intellectually breathtaking tour. In Mamet?s baroque, fragmented world, nothing is certain except the certainty of academics. In playing with the ideas of perception, understanding, and accuracy, he dares to doubt them all. When truth is quicksand, the gag becomes a lifeline of stoic nobility.
After the Cola riots, the fire at the Stop n? Shop, and the death of my kitten, what remains? Can any sense be made of the texts found in the capsule or stuffed in the airlock? Does the Joke Code still operate? Has anyone seen my copy of Bongazine? Who were the members of the Bootsie club? Does the Toll Hound dance? What was the meaning of the message written in Mrs. Wilson?s urine? Can Jane of Trent unlock this paranoia? What were Chet and Donna doing in the boathouse? And just who does Ginger think she is?
"[E]rudite as can be, engagingly mischievous, and occasionally a little chilling." The Sunday Times (London)
"You'll want to clear your sinuses by renting a video of Glengarry Glen Ross or American Buffalo after wrestling with this unruly anti-novel by the noted playwright and remarkably unremarkable writer of fiction....If Jacques Barzun had been re-edited by Paulie Shore, you might have something like this book's aggressive profusion of horrendous puns ('Get Dressed, You Married Gentlemen'), analyses of dumb (many ethnic) jokes, imitation poetry, memoirs of would-be celebrities (such as president Woodrow Wilson's spacey 'ex-wife'), and (far too few) blank pages. Occasional good gags...are infrequent needles in this smothering haystack of a novel." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] super-academic commentary on the ur-historical text of future historians." Jonathan Levi, Los Angeles Times
"In this fiction, names abound but characters don't exist. No plot or conceptual continuity fills the lacuna of character. The only setting is the page, and each one is scored by errant scholasticism....Wilson does share qualities with two of Mamet's movies — the academic bombast of Oleanna and the viewer-beware secrecy of The Spanish Prisoner — but the novel has not an iota of the humane desperation found in, say, American Buffalo or Glengarry Glen Ross." Tom LeClair, Book Magazine
"The enthusiasms of Mr. Mamet...are the more infectious because they come from someone whose best-known writing is so terse, so spare, so direct. [Wilson: A consideration of Sources] is a protracted and unflagging literary gag which will resonate with practitioners, and with those who have been on the receiving end of 'pure scholarship.'" John Coldstream, The Sunday Telegraph (London)
"Wilson: A Consideration of Sources is a rum thing, and pretty much sui generis, although parts of it are reminiscent of Nabokov's Pale Fire, an old science fiction novel by Walter Miller called A Canticle for Leibowitz, and, oddly, a bunch of saterical Augustan Brits; the Pope of Variorum Dunciad, the Swift of Tale of the Tub, and the Gibbon cited by Mamet in his earlier essay collection, Some Freaks: 'A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning.'" Kevin Jackson, The Sunday Times (London)
About the Author
David Mamet was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his play Glengarry Glen Ross. His other plays and screenplays include Speed-the-Plow, American Buffalo, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Wag the Dog, and The Verdict, the last two of which won Academy Award nominations. His most recent film is The Heist. He has also received an Obie award, and has written a book of poems, five collections of essays, and two novels, The Village and The Old Religion.
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