By Hob Broun
From the writer of internal Tube and Odditorium, a booklet of strikingly unique, convention-defying brief stories
Cardinal Numbers is a posthumous number of brilliantly enigmatic brief fiction via Hob Broun, written as a result of a respirator while the writer used to be paralyzed from the neck down. Witty and whole of minimalist shock, those tales flirt with fragment, fabulism, and university. In “Rosella, in Stages,” an previous woman’s event is movingly charted during the voice of her writing in six diverse existence stages—and in six pages, no much less. “Highspeed Linear major Street,” a standout story and an inventive credo of types, facilities on a photographer’s fixation on street existence, whereas the surreal “Finding Florida” includes a Che Guevara who turns into struck with eager for a librarian and gets a few unwelcome information from a fortune teller.
Powerfully felt in addition to mordantly humorous, Cardinal Numbers is a freshly singular contribution to the yankee brief tale.
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We can summarize the chief assumptions underlying the Christian outlook by saying they held that reality is focused in a personal God, that the mechanics of the physical world exceed our comprehension, and that the way to our salvation lies not in conquering nature but in following the commandments which God has revealed to us. It was the second of these three assumptions—that the dynamics of nature exceed man’s comprehension—which the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries began to question, thereby heralding the transition from the Christian to the modern outlook.
That it is articulated goes without saying. Here arises the first criticism of the project. Granted that life needs orientation and that in Homo sapiens the mind figures in effecting it, isn’t it better that the mind effect it concretely, through stories instead of abstractions? ) The answer is: yes, up to a point. The vividness, immediacy, and drama of stories, all made possible by their concreteness, give them the edge in every respect save one. When one foundational story collides with another that differs from it—which is to say: when one tribe or civilization encounters another, or when within a given civilization a story arises to challenge its original, founding one, producing thereby a crisis in the body politic—stories provide no court of appeal.
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Cardinal Numbers: Stories by Hob Broun