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Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
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Enough with the Questions?

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? (P.S.) - Padgett Powell

Would one ever read a book-length sequence of questions? Would you? Would you read David Markson if he had been written by someone else, say, Eliot Weinberger? Since this is not a novel, would you read it anyway? Would you remind yourself to slow down while reading? If you did remind yourself, would you, in fact, slow down? Are you content with Wow! moments? With funny moments? With pensive (no, no, no, not pensky moments)? If you walked to the edge of the forest and stood with your back to it, would you hear the tree fall? Have you heard the sound of a hand? If this review, such as it is, already seems too long, would you prefer The Imperative Mood, and read that if told to?


If you could have a famous writer, dead or alive, write an obituary for you and really puff you up to have been something you weren’t, perhaps, or otherwise take liberties with your memory, what writer would you choose?


Would your life have been different had your given name been Padgett? Is Padgett a unisexual name or an asexual name? Have you had sex today? Would you/will you if you have the time? If not having enough time is anything like not having enough water, aren’t they ultimately the same things?


So why am I still writing in the interrogative? Would you believe me if I told you that this is so, so worth the time? That you might enjoy it? What if I told you it was a stanza-less prose poem? What if I told you the question in and of the subtitle is answered? Would one


Do you know that the action of a thirst or hunger is called “the mechanism,” and that the mechanism of a pistol is called “the action”?


Does the wholesale attrition of aging become in effect your not caring about much, or conceivably anything, the way you once might have, and do you see yourself finally caring about nothing at all or do you see yourself taking a stand for a few things, as though you might be heading for your own private senile Alamo?


How to I convince you this actually was fun to read? Do you like oddly arranged questions or statements (no, there aren’t any) juxtaposed? Are you frequently able to use ‘juxtaposed’ in a stentence (or question)? Would you like me to wind this down? Have I convinced you it’s worth the time? Would you believe the only problem I have with this book is whether to house it on my Fiction shelves or someplace else?