SAUL'S FALL: A Critical Fiction by Herbert Lindenberger

SAUL'S FALL: A Critical Fiction

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Milton J. Wolfson, an assistant professor of English at Stanford--so goes this elaborate if none-too-original jape--receives in the mail a playscript, Saul's Fall, written by one Orlando Hennessy-Garcia. Aside from juvenilia and some manuscript scraps kept in an old suitcase, Hennessy-Garcia has fathered no other works, thankfully; but Professor Wolfson, needing a second interpretive book for academic advancement, fastens on Saul's Fall--a pathetically dreadful play, utterly without talent--and makes an academic Frankenstein's monster of it. So Lindenberger's book is Wolfson's critical edition: full text of Saul's Fall, a ""paralipomena"" of subsidiary jottings, then a raft of critical essays. One's a send-up of Harold Bloom (""Orlando Hennessy-Garcia and the Avoidance of Shakespearean Ephebicide""), there's a response from a Charles Olson-ish poet, and, even a reading by a very oo-la-la Harvard structuralist (""A Meditation on the Hennessean Text""). All this may make for a few tobacco-y chuckles in the faculty dining room, but for everyone else it's got a lumbering matter-of-factness to it that makes the parody double back on itself; the only thing Lindenberger has forgotten to put into this arch satire is the fun of it.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1979
Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press