Theories of Forgetting
Place Published: Tuscaloosa, AL
Publisher: Fiction Collective Two (FC2)
Date Published: 2014
Edition: First edition
Book Id: 38896
365/367 pp. Pagination runs both forward and backward, with text and design elements running both ways on most pages. [22 cm]; illustrated wraps.
An interestingly designed book, with at least two ways to read through it; through one side (the "front") and back through the other (the "back") by flipping the book upside down and going through it the other way. This provides a somewhat fragmented or circular structure in form and content. Nicely done.Theories of Forgetting is a narrative composed of three parts. The first involves the story of a middle-aged filmmaker, Alana, struggling to complete a short experimental documentary about Robert Smithson's famous earthwork, The Spiral Jetty, in the wake of having fallen victim to a pandemic called The Frost. The second involves the story of Alana's husband, Hugh, owner of a bookstore in Salt Lake City, and his slow disappearance in Jordan while on a trip there both to remember and to forget. His vanishing may well be linked to the Sleeping Beauties, a rising global religious cult that worships barbiturates. The third involves the marginalia added to Hugh's section by his daughter, Aila, an art critic living in Berlin. Aila discovers a manuscript by her father after his disappearance and tries to make sense of it by means of a one-sided "dialogue" with her estranged brother, Lance.Lance Olsen is author of more than 20 books, including the novels Theories of Forgetting, Calendar of Regrets, and Nietzsche's Kisses. His short stories, essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies. He serves as chair of FC2's Board of Directors and teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.