At the heart of I’ll Be resides a highly unreliable narrator. As he fumbles through his days, he breaks boundaries that are larger than the seemingly insignificant tasks at hand: the concept of space is uncertain, language is broken, history is rewritten, identity itself remains a question. The futility of language is a theme that surfaces continually. In a commentary on the nature of political systems, for example, the narrator points out its inadequacy in facilitating truthful communication: “To be fair, this country is safe, no one I know has fallen from a sniper’s rifle, and not since 1970 have tanks roamed the streets. But that was in another province, another language, so it may not have happened.” Between sentences strife with comma splices, existentialist questions, and other deconstructionist strategies, the novel is peppered with poetic metaphor and laugh-out-loud humor that is sometimes dark, and always searching. By working to unravel every strand of our understanding of the external world, the novel, in turn, reveals the frailty of our thought process, inner constitution, and essentially our humanity.
(Essential Prose Series)
244 pages |
I suppose much of what I like about the book resembles what's mentioned in the blurbs, but not quite. I really like how the book constantly talks about political woes but isn't exactly political. That's hard to achieve.
Michael Neuman, professor of philosophy at Trent University
I like the courage for the inevitability of exclusion, the fragmentation along the many links and threads of events. There is a continuous fusion and disruption between elements, the personal and the universal. I also love how the quotidian is used as a transition towards political statements. I see at least three parallels that Intersect and separate.
Rawi Hage, writer / novelist: De Niro’s Game, Cockroach, Carnival, Beirut Hellfire Society, Winner of the International Dublin Literary Award
There is a linear narrative of sorts, but the primary attraction is the spin, which isn’t linear at all. Fragments adhere to form various shapes, then fly off into the ether, only to return to recombine with new fragments. Like stalagmites, perhaps, they accrue.
Ted Goosen, York University, has translated works by many Japanese authors, including Haruki Murakami
I’m reminded of Robert Smithson’s essay on “a pile of language”, an activity of forward motion, relentless running over cliffs, rushing toward its own destruction which has always already occurred. Erasure – space by way of dislocation, the constant jarring, filling of pages that empty just as fast. Unlike writing that is intended to fix finalize and preserve, here forgetting is just as important.
Stephen Horne, writer and curator, Paris France
Claudio Gaudio's second novel is an ambitious book. What comes to mind is Beckett, but a Beckett who isn’t supercilious about history and would rather forget it in favour of ontology. He instead crowd any metaphysical quivers — shall we call them that – with all sorts of references to the here and now. There is a stillness rather than a waiting, which accumulates, as it cuts into the consecutional features we associate with narration.
Francesco Lorrigio, editor, translator, author
About the author
Claudio Gaudio is a Toronto based writer. Texas, his first novel, has been translated, in part, by Francesco Loriggio and included in an anthology in Calabria, Italy. Texas was shortlisted in 2013 for the RELIT Awards, and his work has appeared in ELQ (Exile Literary Quarterly), Rampike Literary Magazine and Geist, and Descant Magazine. Along with filmmaker Oleksiy Buyanov and composer Richard Underhill, Claudio is currently working on producing a series of videos based on Texas.