The Cathay Stories and Other Fictions
by MacDonald Harris.
(Short Story Collection)
. Santa Cruz: Story Line Press, 1988.
From the Jacket:
These short fictions are distinguished by their oddity,
their bizarre or original form, their often exotic settings,
and, in some cases, by a convolution of style that suggests
the Jamesian or Nabokovian. In one of them the main
character is a severed head, in another, a madman talks
to dogs and learns of their plans to take over the world. Three
of them, including the novella Polo's Trip, form a
cycle of tales about a modern day Marco Polo who travels from
Venice to Cathay and in doing so finds himself
journeying back in time to the epoch of the historical
Marco Polo and Kubla Khan. All of the stories in this collection work on
the edge of fantasy and involve black humor, dealing slapstick blows
at literary conventions, suburban respectability, and even at
MacDonald Harris, himself.
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