The Dandelion Clock ~~ Anthony Labriola




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The Dandelion Clock by Anthony Labriola

A novel of resistance. In rage and fury, it is a protest against “the dying of the light.” An old teacher, Leonardo Furioso, nicknamed Fury, sets out to delete his blighted memories of a life filled with misadventures, misdirected passion, and mistaken identity. The Dandelion Clock is also a portrait of a failed artist as an old man in a black frock coat with long, flaring, white hair. In his beleaguered and bewildered “second childishness” on the threshold of oblivion, Fury mocks both life and death as cruel jokes and joyous illusions, but delights in their cruel joy. The image of the dandelion clock refers to the childhood pastime of counting the puffs it takes to blow the seed-head off a dandelion in a past-flowering state to tell the time. Before it is too late, and in his rebellion against nature, Fury attempts to annihilate the past. He even hijacks and takes over the narration, shifting it from the third to the first person to speak for himself. As he says, one of the characteristics of the storytelling is the language—not only what is said, but how it is being said. His version of events requires the language of his faltering experiences. He wants to discard it all together, and subtract himself from the world before it erases every trace of his life story. He wants to discard it all together, and subtract himself from the world before it erases every trace of his self-obliterating life story. But, from another point of view, that of his alter ego, Hugh McNab, a stronger force wipes out its opponent virtually without loss. It is a story of transformation, a tale of conversion. In this way, the telling of the tale converts it, like subatomic particles, into radiant energy.
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