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Depictions Of Blaff
Series No.: 174
ISBN: 978-1-933382-90-6, Pages: 128
English Literature, Fiction
In these forty short prose texts Blaff is depicted from at least three different angles: that of some young people (children at first), that of himself as he soliloquizes, and that of his (external) author. Who is Blaff? He appears as a troubled but dauntless captive of his time, an academic outsider at loose ends, an affable bluffer, a bit of a laugh. His 20th century antecedents are such soliloquists and solo figures as Robert Walser's Helbling, Henri Michaux's Plume, Albert Ehrenstein's Tubutsch, Raymond Linossier's Bibi la Bibiste, Brecht's Herr Keuner, even Paul Valery's Monsieur Teste. It remains to be seen if he could rank as a "hero"-antagonist (for all his baffled gentility) to a new century plunged in absolute commercialism and ignorant smartness. His brief appearances as an economist and paymaster are due only to his medium -- not the "short story," but, a genre apart, prose that is well and truly short.
Christopher Middleton's previous short prose writings are Pataxanadu (1977), Serpentine (1985), In the Mirror of the Eighth King (Green Integer, 1999), and Crypto-Topographia (2002).
His acclaimed Collected Poems was a literary event of 2008 (from Carcanet Press, 2008).