TloothNever have I seen a book open with such promise only to abandon it wholesale The first fifty pages are playful and heavily laden with strange puzzles The following hundred pages range between weird beyond my prodigious comfort zone and just plain boring As it fits into the absurdist oulipian movements, Tlooth shouldn t be approached with expectations of strong plotting Nevertheless, after page 60, the story doesn t resume in any meaningful way until the final 10 pages There are isolated vignettes in the book that made me grin wide, but they aren t enough to counter the waste of space that makes up the rest of the it. For a novel this short, it took me a minute to get into But once I was in, I was very much in Perhaps there s a bit too much 1960s type zaniness for my taste, a bit too much whimsy with an emphasis on the h pronunciation, but on the whole it was an enjoyable, small experimental novel Did it reach the heights that Pynchon hit in Crying of Lot 49 or Barthelme did in The Dead Father No But was it an eminently enjoyable distraction Yes. This Novel Begins In A Russian Prison Camp At A Baseball Game Featuring The Defective Baptists Versus The Fideists There Is A Plot Of Sorts , One Of Revenge Surrounding A Doctor Who, In Removing A Bone Spur From Our Narrator, Manages To Amputate A Ring And Index Finger, A Significant Surgical Error Considering That The Narrator Is, Or Was, A Violinist When Dr Roak Is Released From Prison, Our Narrator Escapes In Order To Begin The Pursuit, And Thus Begins A Digressive Journey From Afghanistan To Venice, Then On To India And Morocco And France All Of This Takes Place Amid Mathews S Fictional Concern And Play With Games, Puzzles, Arcana, And Stories Within Stories Perhaps the most baffling book I ve read so far Very playful and Oulipan in spirit P.S I m not sure if its Oulipian or Oulipan or Oulipoian Forgive me. postmodern dentistry i guess this book is pretty neat i at least enjoyed the digression on the Latin res , a nice passage for anybody who gets obsessed with word games. DmENTALWritten in short chapters, the narrative of TLOOTH is awash with absurdist digressions and surreal imagery Halfway through I was somewhat confused By the end I was pleasantly bemused All in all I enjoyed the author s limpid style and the many dreamlike happenings The point of writings like this isn t necessarily the story,the incidental side stepping and strange instances that occur along the way, and this novel is loaded with such deviations play with games, puzzles, arcana, and stories within stories as it says on the back cover I d define it as elegantly mind boggling A curious creation. SPOILER WARNING.YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.Whaaaa.what the hell just happened I find myself fresh out of the delightful hallucination that is Harry Mathew s Tlooth, a tale of triumph, love, adventure, and revengekind of Our narrator Mary Nephthys has been robbed of two of her fingers which is troubling because she is a violinist Also, we only learn she is a she until the nearly the end of the novel The narrator is a part of the Defective Baptist group at the Jacksongrad prison camp in Russia Tlooth is a novel in four parts, and each chapter is governed by its own set of rules and truths which we must follow Much like the Fideism for which the Fideist group at Jacksongrad is named upon researching, I found that, according to the internet, Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths one must play along with the story, and follow the narrator into the strange, absurd, and often magical lands depicted within Tlooth contains moments of pure hilarity, poetry, magical histories, absurdity, Oulipan experimentation, eccentric theological diagrams and studies, mazes, and all other manners of the vast territory that is Mathew s imagination Every character the narrator encounters has a strange and delightful history, objects and instruments are described as perplexing and uncanny, and every meringue is shaped like a squirrel Although perplexing, what happened in Venice I can only describe as a hilarious, hallucinogenic, idiosyncratic, artistic pornography these delightfully odd details that are of this world, but not They are of the world of the magical realism and hover in that realm of childhood imagination and ingenuity that we often forget to visit Tlooth gets weird, and stays weird, but it is not just a random smattering of insanity Strange occurrences lead the narrator to epiphany and the plot, although purposefully muted by twists and turns, is driven by them, and I was delighted to be invited along for its slow reveal Bizarre folk tales of mountain dwelling spiders, orchestras played by instruments made from human body parts, mysterious tribes of poetic kings and human sacrifice, electrochemically manipulated organs, and birds shoved up people s asses, are but a few of the micro narratives that weave through the narrator s journey that makes up Tlooth I loved the entire adventure across the Himalayas Mathew s experiments with language as well In one section, the narrator s mis reading of Robin Marr s notes turns into a poetic visions, in another, a textual maze is written on Hapi the velocipede , not the character that is meant to be superimposed upon a labyrinth to solve it, in yet another the beginnings of words sh, ch, etc are replaced in the Venice section, I still have yet to figure it out entirely , plus countless other word language experiments I am still mulling over some of the experiments and puzzles within Tlooth In fact, I am still wondering about the Oracle s utterance of the title but I will refrain from writing a million pages and staying up all night doing so, as I feel they are to be savored and not rushed I am filled with a longing to see Hapi s paintings, to hear the human instrument concert of the Defective Baptists, to see the velocipede, to hear Beverley s organ, and to witness the columns made of cheese I hope Dr.Roak s teeth fall out Furbowls Amazing This is experimental writing at its finest I confess I never actually knew and still don t know what it was all about, but that doesn t really matter Mathews presents his gallery of characters and their frequently outlandish impossible situations actions so assuredly with such deadpan delivery in such gorgeous prose that you don t even dare to stop the rhythmic flow to question the proceedings, while registering on some level that something isn t quite right, that this or that could never actually happen that it is all part of some colossal twisted joke universe that Mathews has constructed for his own obscure purpose Imagination run completely wild, but presented as sober even academic fact Even when the very language itself breaks down for a stretch becomes something approaching gibberish, one has enough confidence momentum built up to get thru to the other side There is the nebulous notion of a plot that propels you forward, but the endless digressions are fabulous in their own right, and one never feels the exercise is pointless For many years Mathews was the only American member of the experimental writers group Oulipo, and here hethan proves his worth with a book that keeps you on your toes for the entire thrilling ride Not merely something to read this is a real workout for the brain in the best possible sense, constantly putting to the test all your preconceived notions of what a book can, or should, be. I hate smarmy suggestives like what really is a novel because they re stupid This is one of those books that probably gets that question plastered all over its blurbs in newer editions only once on my trade copy because it really is antithetical to anything you think a novel might be There is a plot and then a plot , there are mazes, word puzzles, pornographic sequences that dissolve from innocent typos into a gargantuan horror tale of insensibility, yet you still get it a real coup This is probably best for a particular kind of reader if birds being inserted inside people s anuses during an orgy disturbs you then this book probably isn t for you. Embarassed to admit that this picaresque tale of dentistry and revenge is the first I ve read by Mathews Those familiar with the Oulipo group need no introduction, but bears comparison to Pynchon s The Crying of Lot 49 or Barthelme s Snow White, two other brief classics of 60s postmodernism from the same period, for verbal brilliance, eruditon, inventiveness No summary of the plot could do justice The Oulipan mania for constraints, puzzles, stories within stories, intertextuality scholarly mysteries, pornography, medicine, geology, travel Hugely entertaining Must find out how Dr Smautf is related to Bartlebooth s servant in Life a User s Manual

Harry Mathews was an American author of various novels, volumes of poetry and short fiction, and essays.Together with John Ashbery, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch, Mathews founded and edited the short lived but influential literary journal Locus Solus named after a novel by Raymond Roussel, one of Mathews s chief early influences from 1961 to 1962.Harry Mathews was the first American chosen fo

[Read] ➫ Tlooth By Harry Mathews –
  • Paperback
  • 177 pages
  • Tlooth
  • Harry Mathews
  • English
  • 14 August 2017
  • 9781564781949

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