How to Outthink a Wall: An Anthology — Marvin Cohen

cohen coverWho is Marvin Cohen? Brooklyn-born New Yorker Marvin Cohen published numerous surreal and whimsical fictions in books and magazines from 1967 to 1982. This anthology showcases the two modes of Cohen’s writing: short ‘dialogues’ operating in the manner of an Ionesco or Beckett script by inverting language with an eschatological hopelessness while revelling, rather than despairing, in life’s absurdity, and longer stories displaying Cohen’s unique style and knack for shaping language in novel ways: his repetitions, random exclamations, and bestowing on abstract nouns abstract qualities. Cohen has an ear for the music of the absurd on a par with Donald Barthelme, mixing the flip whimsy, astute and wry observation, and verbal heft, with a fondness for paradoxes and intellectual riddles. His incessant probing of the weird crevices of existence makes reading Cohen a perpetual pleasure. This anthology collects Cohen’s four volumes of short fiction.

“His stories are bursting with inventiveness, and have a way of posing awkward questions—this, when most of the world’s story writers are content with dry observation, or mere character assassination.” — The Times Literary Supplement

Release Date: July 16 2016.  Available from all booksellers and usual online retailers. ISBN: 978981101182.

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