What might a deconstructive history of the marriage bed look like from the marginalized perspective of the cuckold, a figure whose terrain is inverted from one of traditional mockery to one of horror and riddling apocrypha? What might blood say if it could speak—not only the blood as it pulses through one’s veins, but also the blood that is let in the act of a murder, the stains it leaves behind on furniture old enough to have supported monarchical bodies? What, then, might an exegesis of blood, lineage, promise, and betrayal entail? What do inhabited and uninhabited spaces have to offer one keen on tracing images back to their origins: what might these interiors and both their real and imagined occupants say to bear witness to a wound laid bare, as raw as history and as ripe as a knife?

And what might a series of these meditations look like as they are continued laterally alongside one another? It would look very well like Jason Schwartz’s John the Posthumous (OR Books, 2013), a dizzyingly delightful and hypnotically haunting book that resists easy classification, not to mention what painstaking effort it would take to summarize the “plot,” an effort that would be for naught as the narrative threads remain elusive, even as they are dangled right in front of the reader’s face.

Read the full review at 3:AM Magazine.

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