Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things (A Novel) by Gilbert Sorrentino
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Edition of 15, no. 7/15. Signed.
Design by Kenneth Miyamoto.
Jacket design by Bob Anthony.
This novel from Gilbert Sorrentino is a marked point in the writer’s legacy. In this Brooklyn-based fever dream, Sorrentino writes an active snapshot of a city a decade past its artistic prime, capturing the discord that characterizes the city’s after-artists’ lives. Sorrentino follows eight of “the dedicated, the stupid and rapacious and foolish” who have stuck around, each one reckoning with their ghost town of a New York journey. Fueled by inspiration and creativity, they are challenged by corruption, lost ideals, wild responses, and the eventual recognition that their city and its nostalgic promise will always be chasing its own coattails. Sorrentino writes with the satire, character definition, and cultural commentary that could only come from someone with his own experience, critique, and closeness to that disappearing world, where they say artists and writers can be made, if they manage not to get captured.