though dubbed elsewhere the first lynchian novel, MARSUPIAL reminded me most often of cronenberg’s NAKED LUNCH, where an unflappable main character nods straight-faced through a bizarre and constantly morphing scenery. witty and — due to its sense of nostalgia for a just-left dream or a long-left city — oddly melancholic. a relatively simple story line anchors the book: a young man comes to Paris to work as a stand-in for his actor-brother during an arty-ish B-movie shoot. on top of that simple narrative’s foundation is built a complex, shifting and dreamy mis-en-scene perhaps as obsessively art-directed as one by richard foreman. white’s repeating concerns include: crayfish biomorphism of all kinds, lacanian fascination/alienation from our own bodies, mothers, brothers, sibling rivalry, paranoia, and the french. an obsessively rendered dreamworld that leaves a long-lingering aftertaste of heartache, MARSUPIAL is a fascinating read.
should be said too: derek white, the DIY master who runs calamari press, has done himself one better on this book’s design, which is graced with a beautifully gritty cover (and from which, his name is defiantly absent) and which also has his trademark collages interspersed throughout.