SHADOWPLAY by Norman Lock

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an uncanny tale of the limits and power of story telling, SHADOWPLAY also works with a mesmerizing and subtle structure where the story repeats and folds into itself over and over again. among lock’s best work, it continues the self-conscious fascination and manipulation of the theme of “other” that appeared in works like A HISTORY OF THE IMAGINATION and LAND OF THE SNOW MEN. here however lock’s uproarious and dark-humored wit has been replaced with a different mode: that of a parable or fable. the alienation, vanity, occasional triumph, and seemingly inevitable destruction of the story-teller are almost classically illustrated in this compact and powerful tale.

“Stories compensate for lives unlived. They are what Norman Lock, or his avatar Guntur, calls shadows, negative reflections on a backlit screen, comprising, through artistry and brief illumination, ghosts. Lock’s teller is imprisoned by darkness, captivated by warriors and princesses no longer, if ever, living. Death becomes a distance from which the voices of these unliving return. It is a journey as delicious as it is threatening.”
—R.M. Berry

“[Lock’s] prose is melodial, and alert to every signal from the unseen.”
—Gary Lutz

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