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Spurious by Lars Iyer

Spurious (2011)

by Lars Iyer

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1598122,030 (3.27)2
The narrator's home is slowly being taken over by a fungus that no one seems to know what to do about. Before it completely swallows his house, the narrator feels compelled to solve some major philosophical questions (such as "Why?") and the meaning of his urge to write, as well as the source of the fungus before it is too late. Or, he has to move.… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
What place do we have in the world? None. Where's it all going? To perdition. To desolation, and to the abomination of desolation. And are we going with it? All the way! That's where we're heading now with our gin and our apocalypticism, full speed into the night.

I was first made aware of the novel Spurious by Goodreader [p]. He is now gone, into the ether. Or night. I miss him and his reviews. I likely spend too much time pondering that "miss." Spurious details a friendship. The parties are Lars and W. I haven't pondered whether the "Lars" is the novel's author. The friendship meditates on failure and on the historical friendship between Kafka and Brod. I bought two copies of this novel. I gave one to my best friend when he visited last week. I don't worry about failure. I do worry about my friend. I try not to be troubled when ranks of goodreaders move on. I sort of stick things out. I have been at my job for almost 21 years. I have been friends with j for almost 30. I read this novel in two sessions, the latter riddled with doubt about it all. By "all" I mean existence, not the snarky frame of this narrative. My friend is now back in New York and life proceeds. Most likely I won't read further novels from the author.
( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Unsure how, when or why this ended up on my to-read list. It's a short book, kindof a diary written by Lars, chronicling his and his friend W.'s attempts to have "thoughts" worth writing about, and W.'s fatalistic views. There's a lot of discussion of them being Max Brods in search of a Kafka and the implications thereof, so it helps to be familiar with that history. Interesting and strange and maybe worth more than three stars, but it was just so far out of my usual zone that I wasn't sure what to do with it. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Very funny! and very moving, and very much to think about here -- I can't quite imagine two more volumes of the same, but -- bring them on! ( )
  V.V.Harding | Apr 21, 2015 |
If you:...read too much Heidegger, Spinoza, and Kierkegaard in your formative years which then caused all experiences from puberty onward to become internal debates, crises of consciousness, self-reflexive moments that forced you to pull a Hamlet and dwell in your head rather than enjoy life without over-thinking it like those who read, say, Judy Blume in lieu of Kafka.

...have ever gotten drunk and thought that you were the Messiah.

...have ever gotten drunk and thought that your interlocutor was the Messiah.

...think that Béla Tarr is the Messiah.

...prefer your action rendered as "action" and thereafter rendered in Socratic dialogue, punctuated by ejaculations of "moor!" and "river!"

...think that we are in the end of days.

...are a fan of Derrida & co. and need a laughingly perverse bout of crying or a cryingly perverse bout of laughing.

...have a problem with damp in your flat and make not mountains out of molehills but allegories out of mold spores.

...admire your best friend more than yourself (as does he).... well, then, you must hastily get your hands on a copy of this and begun reading your way through Iyer's trilogy tout de suite. ( )
  proustitute | Jul 17, 2014 |
What a tonic this book was! It’s buddy-fiction, part of a great tradition from Don Quixote to Waiting for Godot. (Not forgetting vaudeville's contributions, like Abbott and Costello). Its hapless anti-heroes revere Kafka, but the real life Lars Iyer, if not his namesake character in the book, has done something Kafka couldn’t, which is to make existential dread and despair (ha-ha) funny without making them less (ah-ha) serious. (Especially now that late capitalist cultural vacuity and the hovering possibility of ecocide have only made them cut deeper). Iyer does this trick as neatly as Beckett, an author I thought would never be followed. I’m looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy; I think there’s no one I’d rather await the apocalypse with than these two - new and necessary iterations of the cosmic clown. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
True to its interest in Messianism and Jewish mysticism, Spurious is, finally, a book about waiting. W. and Lars wait, as Beckett’s characters do, as Kafka’s do. It might also be a book about salvation, about joy—unless salvation is impossible, and joy another symptom of idiocy. This novel has a seductive way of always doubling back on itself, scorching the earth but extracting its own strange brand of laughter from its commitment to despair.
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