Truth, War, and the Dream-Game

Stories and poetry by Lawrence Fixel

July 1, 1991 • 5.5 x 9 • 144 pages • 978-0-918273-88-8

A dynamically shifting vision of the world made visible in intricate explorations that seem to recall Kafka’s castle halls, and the twists and turns in Borges’s labyrinth.

Utilizing the ancient tradition of the parable, Lawrence Fixel presents narrators in settings with which they are uncomfortable, in situations they don’t understand, confronting a range of potential resolutions that somehow obliquely reflect the issues and values of our peculiar time and place.

With uncompromising curiosity and ferocious intelligence, Fixel’s essays, parables and prose poems take part the everyday world in order to examine its most basic building blocks, to turn them this way and that, to imagine how they might have been regarded in the time of the Pharaohs, or to conjure up a reality without them. The most insignificant object or act—a shovel, a key, a knock on a door—becomes the starting point for an exploration into the nature of existence itself.


“The subject of Truth, War and the Dream-Game is the asking of impossible questions. Is there a difference in the reality of the witness and the reality he thinks he sees outside himself? Does he change what he sees by seeing it? In the end, is the only reality ourselves looking out of ourselves? Lawrence Fixel’s writing speaks to that vigil we have all kept in our unslept nights.” —Russell Edson

“A good parable commands the praise we reserve for perfect sonnets and sure-fire jokes. It is a tonic for the intellect. The traditional parable, from Jotham to Jesus to Kafka, runs as a brilliant thread through Judaism, holds an honored place in Zen Buddhism, and has been useful to masters of compressed wit as diverse as Lincoln and Tolstoy. Lawrence Fixel has found a thoroughly modern use for the parable, transforming it into a king of analytical indeterminacy, or shimmering radiance of meaning.” —Guy Davenport