QUILL by Robert Steiner


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This is one of those mercilessly experimental, effortful and exasperating first novels which in its wild wordmongering (honestly come by) will readily defeat almost anyone, e.g. ""But this night cosmothetic Quill sat up in bed suddenly suffering from his oogamy which dissolved his loins, was chewing away at his symbol, amotilizing him with every pinch."" For purposes of simplification, Quill is the central character, intermittently seen in an institution at 75 when he is growing ""infant-young"" again; or in his only-child-childhood; or in his major affair with a tramp, a ""lay moron"" called LaVergne who aborts their child in the bathroom while he is sodomizing his neighbor's wife; or writing (there are excerpts) Past Particles, an epic on the moon, and another on the abominable snowman; or in further exotic travels with Yves Fabrizio, who is the eminence noire throughout his erratic life. At one point Quill is asking ""What then Where when How now When was Why, especially Why... Worse he expected answers."" Unwisely. Quill is one of those ""broken egghead"" attention-getters and much of his antic prurience will just give you a pain in the pudenda.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row