A review of

Lunar Follies

by Gilbert Sorrentino

Central question: Can a book construct art out of the most brainless and shameful detritus of the art world?
Format: 145 pp., paperback; Size: 8.7” x 6”; Price: $14; Publisher: Coffee House Press; Editor: Chris Fischbach; Print run: 5,000; Book designer: Linda Koutsky; Typeface: Perpetua and Bittersweet; Novel written on: a typewriter; Representative sentence: “Two copulative verbs, large, and by nature rough, converge upon a blushing noun, which tries, gamely, to hold its skirts down in the blustery wind blowing hard toward the famed copse of eucalyptus trees imported from the Pulitzer Bank, sad fished out long, long ago, by fascists of foreign persuasions, mostly Norwegians, drunk, and foul with innocent-whale blubber.”

Six hundred words on the most recent offering from Gilbert Sorrentino, a man now approaching his ninth decade? A brief review, precisely the sort of squib he makes look ridiculous? Lunar Follies pretends to be a compendium of such reviews, along with catalogue copy, publicity puffs, and other shorthand descriptions of artwork, artists, and their hangers-on. How can I show my appreciation without taking part in the sycophantic charade?

Nonetheless I must celebrate this man’s thirtieth book, a bravura feat of parody. Lunar Follies offers fifty-three self-contained art-world snippets, each one entirely the product of Sorrentino’s imagination and each depicting a creative venture that seems wearily familiar—that is to say, the pits. Through his reviewer’s witless gushing and hand-me-down blather (“strangely iconic and wholly sterile…”), we glimpse a repulsive nakedness made uglier by the industry’s lizardlike scramble after sex and bucks.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—John Domini

John Domini’s next book will be the novel Earthquake I.D. See www.johndomini.com.

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