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The Catalog of Lost Books Paperback – July 8, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Parodying obtuse academic synopses of great books, Tuleja ( The Cat's Pajamas ), gets off to an amusing start with a commentary on "The Altamira Spiral," identified as "an arrangement of polished, inscribed stones" from a cave in northern Spain. But he has difficulty sustaining that joke past a few paragraphs, let alone generating enough laughs to warrant a book. In seeking to poke fun at dull, pedantic writing, more often than not he is dull and pedantic himself. The idea of Marilyn Monroe analyzing Claude Levi-Strauss has potential, but the annotation bogs down with lines like "Her theme is that 'signifying' art always 'bodies forth the contradictions of its social matrix,' attempting through 'rigid iconic artifice' to 'expiate the demons of its own necessary irresolution.' " Other entries are sophomoric: "This ingenious book of ancient divination explains the ritualistic cutting and analysis of nail clippings." There are some moments of inspired madness, as in an essay on "the world's only major writer whose works are known only from a concordance." But on the whole, the reader would be better off if Tuleja's "lost books" had stayed lost.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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