Orogene, a novel
by Eric Darton

June, 2009
232 pages, 6 x 9
Paperback, 978-0-9815708-1-5
Price: $16 + shipping and handling

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Other Critical Responses

"Eric Darton's Orogene reads like an extended ecstatic poem."
           — Gioia Timpanelli, author of the novel of What Makes a Child Lucky (WW Norton) and winner of the American Book Award for Sometimes the Soul (WW Norton).

"This is literature in a radically new key. Darton's Orogene recapitulates, pays homage to and parodies fable, allegory, sci-fi, the quest for utopia - layers of narrative interwoven with revolutionary subtexts."
           — Thomas Mermall, author of The Rhetoric of Humanism: Spanish Culture After Ortega Y Gasset (Bilingual Press) and Seeds of Grace (Semillas de gracia), (Biblioteca Nueva, Madrid).

A Taste of Orogene:

          When I was a lad in the fourth stile at Grammatticum, I had a teacher named Fox, who, now that I come to think it, was no older than I am now. He taught us music and geography, and I found myself full of ideas in his presence, yet I always responded stupidly to his questions, felt the stupidity rise within me, irrepressibly. At its inception each new thought seemed filled with life and promise. But as it made its way upward, its essence transformed until, born into sound, it assumed words I could scarcely recognize as my own.

          I remember too the light in the room where he told me. It spilled through the splayed high windows and so looked more like diagonal buttressing than something you could pass a hand through. We were alone, he and I, and sat at the right angle of a long, worn table. I laid my arm along the edge to feel the wood beneath it and press the corner into my palm, and though the reason for the interview must have been some infraction of mine, Fox asked me to play a mode on the wazoon. I stood, and stumbled through the notes, but partway through he raised a hand to stop me. They play high flutes there, he said. And when they're done playing, they eat them. Do you understand? A stupid question rose to my lips. Do they dunk them first?

            Of course, he said. They dunk them in warm mandrake and that makes the notes float off: A, F, Bb, G, just like that. And you swallow them. That's how you learn to play.

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