by Brian Evenson
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Brian Evenson’s five short-fiction collections and four novels are wonderfully difficult to categorize. Recognizable as literary fiction, but with strong undertows of horror and mystery, his style is all the more intriguing for defying classification. The stories in Fugue State will not disappoint, for Evenson extends his obsession with the uncanny and the unhinged that has won him a small but loyal following.
The cannibals, murdered ex-wives, and abandoned little girls who people these stories are not intended to titillate but instead point up Evenson’s chilling insight: that true terror stems from our dependence on language to communicate the murky stuff in our minds. He takes this Wittgensteinian despair a step further, suggesting that language is worse than inadequate—it is dangerous. In “An Accounting,”
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