Morstive Sternbump whoever he is--has commissioned someone to write about him. Whatever is a little more definable--he's an inept introvert given to endless speculations and sophistries; he's also ""commercially unfeasible."" Remember that. As for the others with whom he's in sometime contact, their names are Morgan and Merton and those of their mutual girlfriends/wives/divorcees are Tessa and Hulda and Emma. Strange how they sound alike. All of them experience constant reversals in a world where nothing is finite and Morton, sorry Morstive, broods about ""modern man's dilemma"" and ""existence"" and ""immortality"" (he should forget that one). But then this takes place in the Sixties which indulged these ingrown concerns. Once in a long (repeat long) while, Cohen is funny (""Could you call yourself neurotic?"" ""Oh no: I'm much too worried for that""); sometimes he's not funny at all (""brightening the toilet with his famished urine""). The most you can say for him is that he indulges in a kind of impoverished doodling: ""Motion moves life forward, but life stalls motion to move backward, so then where were we?"" Looking out the window, for sure.