Evenson review

My review of Brian Evenson’s new fiction collection The Wavering Knife (FC2, 2004) is now up at English Studies Forum.

[excerpt:]

Evenson’s most intriguing stories in the collection, the title namesake “The Wavering Knife” and “Moran’s Mexico: A Refutation,” forsake such gratuitous details, in favor of a systematic blurring of the lines between fiction and scholarship. In these particular fictions, the reader is engaged in ways akin to Vladimir Nabokov’s violently subdued narrator Charles Kinbote (of Pale Fire), Paul Auster’s mysterious Quinn in City of Glass, Mark Z. Danielewski’s layering of critic upon critic upon critic in his impressive encylo-novel House of Leaves, and, most recently, in Curtis White’s opus Requiem. Evenson’s stories occupy similar territory, by forcing us to contemplate violence in a way we are most unprepared to do, that is, to consider it as epistemological truth.

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