The Hypothetical Man (pre-order)
by Paul Maliszewski and James Wagner
The Hypothetical Man is a darkly humorous collection of stories featuring an assortment of anonymous characters A, B, and S. They work undercover at an amusement park in Illinois and at a secret government facility that would prefer not to be named. They attend a freewheeling sales meeting with death masks on the wall. Some raise pigs, others race goats. One lives in a suburban home where he watches his wife with another man. They are, together, misled, misunderstood, and mistaken often, but their pursuit of answers never ends. The Hypothetical Man is the second book from TRNSFR, an imprint of Curbside Splendor.
PRAISE FOR THE HYPOTHETICAL MAN:
"Reading The Hypothetical Man is like eavesdropping on the fevered colloquy of two think-tank eminences expelled for conundrumizing too wisely for their own good about everything crucial and uncomfortable about lives lived with upheaving acuity. Paul Maliszewski and James Wagner have written an entrancement of a book, and you’ll hang on their every word."
"The Hypothetical Man is just the sort of fictional testament our meaning-deficient age demands—hilarious, profound, and relentlessly self-questioning. It is a tale told by two beguiling idiots; the kind of story you'd get if Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were mid-level CIA appointees, Samuel Beckett were a corporate consultant, and modern American life were re-envisioned as one long shaggy tahr story. If there's any justice in our bedraggled world, The Hypothetical Man will attract a grateful horde of real readers.
—Chris Lehmann, author of The Money Cult
"These stories? narratives? accusations? recriminations? are the smartest and most fascinating literary inventions you’ll read this decade. Imagine an angry, frightened Luis Borges in an argument with himself, or Abbott and Costello if they were very, very well-read.
The dueling, hilarious, self-eviscerating, meticulously crafted narratives of A and B make me think of My Dinner with Andre for the era of alternative facts, or Plato and his dialectic transported giddily into contemporary America. Every writer should read these—and anyone else who is interested in the beautiful, confusing disarray of the twenty-first century Western mind."
—Clancy Martin, author of How to Sell and Bad Sex
PRAISE FOR PAUL MALISZEWSKI:
“You want me to tell you what sets Maliszewski apart? The answer is probity. The answer also is decency. Here’s another answer: modesty, tact, exactitude, pertinence, reverence, wit. All told, Maliszewski has all the graces, which is why I, in my old age, am renewed and schooled by him. Oh, and another thing: Paul Maliszewski takes no crap.”
PRAISE FOR JAMES WAGNER:
Praise for the false sun recordings:
“At a time of extraordinary displacement and global confusion, these insistently sane poems manage a remarkable interjection of viable realities, of multiple twists, turns and provisions of language’s singular instrument, syntax, and the words which it puts in order. Each turn here is a possibility, an endlessly refracting multiplicity of instance. Each word takes its own step, as it must, toward recognition.”
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Paul Maliszewski is the author of Fakers and Prayer and Parable. His work has appeared in Harper’s, Granta, Bookforum, The Paris Review, and Bomb. He lives in Washington, DC.
James Wagner is the author of Thrown: poems to paintings with Bracha L.
Ettinger, Work Book, Trilce, and the false sun recordings. He lives in California.
Publication Date: April 2017