John the Posthumous exists in between fiction and poetry, elegy and history: a kind of novella in objects, it is an anatomy of marriage and adultery, an interlocking set of fictional histories, and the staccato telling of a murder, perhaps two murders. This is a literary album of a pre-Internet world, focused on physical elements - all of which are tools for either violence or sustenance. Knives, old iron gates, antique houses in flames; biblical citations, blood and a history of the American bed: the unsettling, half-perceived images, and their precise but alien manipulation by a master of the language will stay with listeners. Its themes are familiar - violence, betrayal, failure - its depiction of these utterly original and hauntingly beautiful.
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