ISBN-13: 9781517012311 / Angielski / Miękka / 2015 / 218 str.
Not just fantasy, but a unique blend of 'clear-minded surrealism' and mischievous earthy satire, directed to achieve a powerful end...
Philip Goddard wrote five novels from 1990 to 1993, and "The Hunting-Down of Michael Maus" is the first of these. He approached his literary works as though each was a music composition, indeed all five novels and some of his short stories and poems actually being the literary equivalent of complex, organically structured symphonies, in which ideas, phrases and even individual words are treated like melodic motifs in such a symphony. At that time his particular model of symphonic organization and structuring was the late symphonies of Sibelius and especially the symphonies of the 20th Century Danish composer Vagn Holmboe - though Goddard's own musical symphonies, when they did come, were more diverse in approach.
Each of the novels defies standard (say, BISAC) categorization, overlapping equally with a number of available marketing categories - which means that labelling with any one of those categories would misrepresent the respective work. Among the categories that partially relate to it would be satire, psychological fiction, fantasy, speculative fiction (except that the latter appears not to be available) and literary fiction.
Here, then, is an adaptation from the Prologue of this novel...
In the beginning was the book. As if werewolves upon the land were not enough. "That iniquitous book." And the ripples spread. And spread. Here follows the backdrop to our little fable.
The publisher sighs a long sigh of relief: the new book, unlike all previous ones from the same author, has absolutely nothing in it that could offend anyone. Indeed some cynics would say it has absolutely nothing and nothing, full stop. Others would then point out that in fact it has no such full stop.
Then come the surprisingly animated reviews. Next the demonstrations. Many killed around the world in riots. Before long it's the bombs. Not just bookshops and premises of the publisher, either. Britain really sits up and takes notice when 500 children attending a live Walt Disney pantomime event in Darkton are converted into sausage meat in one fell blast.
Then the Holy Leader of an extremist religious sect pronounces. Michael Maus, the author of "that book," has insulted The Prophet. De'ath to Michael Maus An arrow of de'ath has been launched. It will seek out and kill the blasphemer. There will be no escape and no mercy. The arrow of de'ath is irretrievable, and will reach and exterminate Michael Maus according to their religion's law, no matter where in the world he tries to escape to and what protection he may be given by any government, and no matter what representations or pronouncements are made subsequently to this edict.
What follows here is an absurd fable about many things, of which the ripples from "that book" are just one facet. Rest you assured, it's all just make-believe. It speaks of some other century than our own - indeed, a purely imaginary one. "It's not believable ," some will complain; "People just don't behave like that." Others, though, may not be quite so sure.
...But now the stage is set. The Holy Leader has spoken. The arrow of de'ath is on its way, and Michael Maus is loudly proclaimed to be nothing more than a walking corpse. Meanwhile werewolves could even be copulating in your own back yard for all you know, and something hideously unmentionable is preparing to emerge from a secret underground bunker not a million miles from the delightful Glosshire country town of Pewkely Snorton. So, are you sitting comfortably now, with your back firmly to the wall? -- Then let us begin....