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La Farge, Paul

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Author.

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(1970-    ) US academic and author, whose first novel, The Artist of the Missing (1999), hovers along the water margin where metafiction (see Fabulation) becomes Fantastika: where narrative topoi dependent on the influence of (not untypically) Franz Kafka extend past the metaphorical applications typical of the Mainstream Writer of SF into literal tellings. The unnamed but multiply recognizable City at the heart of this first novel is conveyed, in other words, as though it exists. The protagonist's search for mysteriously disappeared members of his family (and others), conducted through abstractly conceived moments of quest evocative of the work of Jorge Luis Borges. Haussmann; Or, the Distinction (2001), a metafiction written as though by the (imaginary) French author Paul Poissel, somewhat less absorbingly weaves mild fantastications around the life of Georges-Eugène Haussmann (1809-1891), who inflicted a ruthless urban-renewal project upon old Paris. The Facts of Winter (2005) again confabulates Paris, again through the eyes of Poissel, who recounts his own visionary dreams of the magic city. Luminous Airplanes (2011) is a nonfantastic tale told in language which implies more. The Night Ocean (2017) describes a contemporary search into the secret Sex life of H P Lovecraft, and includes a fictionalized analysis of the Futurians. La Farge should not be confused with the French author Paul LaFargue (1842-1911). [JC]

Paul B La Farge

born New York: 17 November 1970



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