What, I thought, was to prevent me from "truly" killing the author? Part murder mystery and all jet-black satire, and based on a real life scandal, this edgy novella tells the story of Leopold Sfax, world-renowned as the creator of "The Theory"--a bizarre literary theory that grew from an intellectual folly to a dominant school of criticism that enslaved college campuses across the country. However, The Theory, which holds that the text of any piece of writing tells us all that we need to know about its author (as if the author himself is "dead") takes on extra perversity when the revered--or is it feared?--Sfax is found to have once written something that seems...well, murderously revealing. In the hands of Gilbert Adair, it's a dexterously wrought and hysterically devilish look at academic cultishness. It's also a taut metaphysical murder mystery that confounds the reader's expectations on almost every page and reserves its most stunning surprise--the ultimate whodunit twist--for the very last page. The Contemporary Art of the Novella series is designed to highlight work by major authors from around the world. In most instances, as with Imre Kertesz, it showcases work never before published; in others, books are reprised that should never have gone out of print. It is intended that the series feature many well-known authors and some exciting new discoveries. And as with the original series, The Art of the Novella, each book is a beautifully packaged and inexpensive volume meant to celebrate the form and its practitioners.
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