MOVING PARTS by Steve Katz


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Avant-garde games--surreal gore, persona-switching, fact/fiction sleight-of-hand--are played out with glossy high spirits in these four loosely connected novellas. ""Female Skin"" is what ""I"" removes from lovely Wendy (""The knife traveled like a kayak"") and covers himself with, discovering that everyone--except the geese--recognizes him anyway. Then ""I"" becomes author Steve as he shows the story to friends, explains its genesis, and gets their reactions. That real ""I""/fictional ""I"" split is expanded upon when, in ""Parcel of Wrists,"" Steve receives 43 human wrists from somewhere in Tennessee (planted, they sprout other body parts) and travels south to find the source, and then, in ""Trip,"" the author really goes to Tennessee, comparing his imagined journey with reality, his ""Protagonist"" with ""Steve"" (""But Steve had an author to help eliminate waste, and the Protagonist has to do it alone""). The final piece, ""43,"" is a history of Katz' involvement with that number (""more of a nagging responsibility than a guiding obsession""), collecting references (""Jung is a perfect source for serious 43ing"") and delving into numerology. Sentence by sentence, Katz' work is as accessible as Art Buchwald's and no less entertaining; add it all up, and it seems rather an orgy of writer-y self-indulgence--producing about as much emotional resonance as 43 bouncing pingpong balls.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1977
Publisher: Fiction Collective--dist. by Braziller