Simon Brousseau, Talonbooks, 2019
Synapses, Le cheval d'août, 2016
Beautifully crafted literary snapshots written in a single sentence.
Finalist, Governor General's Award for Translation, 2019
These flashes capture a near-simultaneous amalgamation of thought, emotion, and vivid sensory experience, a kind of neural artifact of an ever-changing self.
The end result is less like reading a novel than dipping into a pool of shared human experiences and letting your own modern anxieties dissolve in the waters.
In the deepest recesses of your consciousness you calculate every detail and archive the statistics that serve to draw correlations between your every action and the goals you’ve set yourself, and chart your progress in the war against encroaching entropy and grime, assigning every thing its proper place and every task its correct method, and you choke back your irritation when your girlfriend breaches protocol by failing to replace the bag in the small apple-red kitchen garbage can, or leaving the corkscrew out on the counter, and a chasm of despair opens up at the thought of the many minutes that will unquestionably be wasted looking for it next time you need it unless it is immediately put back in its rightful place.
You sold your first Kawasaki Ninja in the summer of ’97 to a dentist itching to take a ride on the wild side, and that day you understood how brand names work like mantras, you simply had to be serious as a shaman as you repeated it to the customer, Kawasaki Ninja, Kawasaki Ninja, a whole lot of horses, she rides like the wind, get a feel for the grips, check out how nice she handles, and you saw that what you were selling was a lifestyle, and what people wanted was the power to drive off into the horizon at any moment, and that even if they never actually would they’d pay a lot to be convinced this freedom could be purchased as they chanted along with you, ninja, ninja, ninja.
There are mornings when the sun looks at you askance the moment you open your eyes and you can feel that ray shining through the curtains, blinding you like a warning that you’d better stay in bed, don’t even bother getting up because this new day dawning has it in for you, everything is conspiring against the fragile balance of your neurotransmitters, today the cats will meow for their kibble with extra insistence, your cereal won’t taste right, the news will report the arrival of the apocalypse, oh and your dentist’s secretary will leave two messages on your answering machine to remind you of your annual cleaning and checkup, which is no longer covered since you finished your PhD and are now looking for a job, in vain.
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