Interfictions Reviews – "The Utter Proximity of God"

“The Utter Proximity of God”
Michael J. DeLuca

Nobody should be allowed to throw stones at glass houses unless they’re prepared to throw stones at their own.

I read this and I notice flaws. Bumps in the prose I wish I’d fixed. Points where the silliness comes off as wooden and contrived. I guess this is how it feels to read your own work in print.

But there’s still stuff that makes me laugh, anyway, and a play of the kinds of ideas that interest me, with hidden ends of various threads leading off out of the story into others. Which is pretty much the best I can expect.

Theodora Goss compares this story to Samuel Beckett; she called it “the anti-Waiting for Godot“. That interpretation is apt, certainly, though modesty forces me to admit it was not what I intended. I only read Godot after she made that comparison, and while now that I have read it, I can entirely conceive of myself composing a story just to assail Godot‘s verbose, absurdist cynicism, when I was in fact writing this story, I’m pretty sure I was thinking more along the lines of Piers Ploughman, classical pastoral, and a particular Calvino story called “Father to Son”, which is about a pair of grumpy asshole farmers who are pretty much mean to everybody and like it. But in tone, at least, Dora Goss is right: I was looking for optimism, for irreverence, a story critical of religion but condemning of despair.

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