Bringing together a literary fragment from the past and 21st-century droll morbidity
When he entered the university, Karl Marx thought of himself as a poet and dramatist. He soon recognized that he was neither, but not before he left behind a handful of poems and one act of a play, Oulanem: A Tragedy. . . . A 19th-century house of imperial cards, the cruelties inherent in petit bourgeois resentment and hypocrisy are examined by the authors, Paul Majkut and Karl Marx. In its praise of Oulanem, Kirkus Reviews commented that "In a novel written so well, and with such restraint, it’s easy not to feel [the villain’s] steadily tightening noose until it closes as all is revealed—to great satisfaction—in the final act."
Suspicion, resentment, confusion, regret, poor memory in an uncomfortable genre and cheap Greek island hotel
The narrator, inexplicably lost in the Labyrinth, is confronted by Asterion, the Minotaur. At the same time, the narrator and his wife are vacationing on a Greek island when hotel guests begin to disappear. A discredited police inspector arrives to unravel the mystery, but his reliance on phrenology may be a greater hindrance than help. The opening riddle is resolved in the redundant ending. Literary critic and author Maxwell Geismar concludes that “Majkut’s mind operates on several levels, from high philosophy to reporting the scene around him. . . . He is obviously a fiction writer of high order."
Inexplicable Terror: Islamic Fundamentalism and American Hypocrisy
A possible threat to and nervous breakdown of the wife of an American oil magnate in Riyadh brings an incognito investigator from the Institute for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice to the InterHo international hotel. At the Institute, he is secretly involved with a jihadist brotherhood that includes Osama bin Laden and Taliban fighters from Afghanistan. . . . At the same time, “the Author” observes and comments on the story as a character at the hotel. Sand is a snapshot, photo album of Riyadh in the late 1980s. French philosopher Louis Althuisser, intrigued by Majkut's inticate thinking, observed: “Ce que tu me dis sur la perception m’intéresse beaucoup, c’est très spinoziste d’inspiration."
and Other Tales
Stories of shot ball bearings and loose ends
Odd people inextricably caught in odd situations, this collection of tales places the weight of individual choice and character on airy fate and circumstance. Populated by the gullible, madmen, lonely women, fools, and heroic losers, these stories are dislocations of desire and acomplishment, vain choices, and insignificant nobility. In the end, they are tales about the reader. In awarding Majkut the Best Series Award, 1994, the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club succinctly commented that "Uprising in Chiapas was a great story.” The story won the Best Series Award from the San Diego Press Club.
Poems of regret followed by slight hope
Verse and Adverse, a collection of poems, ranges in character from love poetry to insult and is written in traditional forms as well as experimental. They confront personal and social issues, are addressed to friends and enemies, and are often as emotionally puzzling as they are pointedly clear. A Goodreads reviewer, Spica, finds that Verse and Adverse was “lovely to read. Very nostalgic and all around a great reflection on those little moments in life. Not exactly the most upbeat thoughts on life, but they are the insights on people… .”
Witches and anger: paranormal romanmce or more than meets the eye
Antique is the story of Quinn Channing, a university professor who suffers from outbursts of uncontrollable anger until a colonial, standing mirror in an antique shop on a back road in New Hampshire beckons. What happens, if anything happens, is a matter of the reader’s conjecture. Are events and emotions natural, unnatural, supernatural, or mix of all or none? Once again, Majkut writes about the reader who holds his novel in hand. Barbara Monahan, author of Ancient Echoes, writes in her review that Antique is “a wonderful book, filled with twists and turns for the reader to enjoy…. It held my interest to the last page. Would definitely recommend it to others for an enjoyable read. . . five stars."
of the Word
Written in the tradition of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, monsters of the Third Reich live on in this study of esoteric Nazi dementia and rivalry. Hitler, Braun, Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Bormann, and others jostle for power after World War II in New Swabia, the Nazi Colony deep within Antarctica. Only villains populate this novel. No central characters, no heroes. The Stench of the Word is currently being reviewed and has been entered in the Uchronia Sidewise Alternate History Award competition
Natalia Valenzuela: Philosophy
and the Unwritten Word
This Window has
Seen Better Days
War, defeat, escape, hope
Vietnamese refugees who escaped by sea and land to camps throughout Southeast Asia, then came to California to begin new lives wrote with their suffering a saga of world history that should not be forgotten. Theirs is a story of defeat, escape, and renewal. Based on anonymous interviews by the Director of a large program for Vietnamese refugees in Orange County, California, in the early 1980s, Vietnamese Diaspora is a compilation of fear and hope that is the by-product of war. The interviewees speak for themselves. Prominent educator Dr. Tri D. Tran comments that “I have worked with many Americans, both as colleagues and students, and I find Paul Majkut to be remarkable among them in his ability to work and get along with people of different cultural backgrounds.”
Dirty Light and
the Odyssean Complex
Philosophy of expression and textuality
An investigation of the themes of literacy and illiteracy, orality, and the return to the unnamed.
An epistemology of deception
A study of transcendental deception, the impossibility to escape deception permanently, and deception in in the digital age.
A dystopian novel
In the manner of H. G. Well's When the Sleeper Wakes, Upturn Ahead portrays a near-future dystopia of gated communities, suburban and inner-city slums in a world whose reason for being is greed, violence, and happy propaganda.
Viewed from both sides
Two men on a train converse about things they know, things they don't know, and things they suspect.
. . . or the misanthrope's conclusion
A waiter overhears the table talk of those he serves.
A novel of the chase
Along the lines of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory, Desmond Bourrier's new novel features a Pinkerton detective hunting an IWW anarchist. Better men don't always have better ideas.