Recital of the Dog

Recital of the Dog

David Rabe

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0802136583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Recital of the Dog

David Rabe

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0802136583

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In classic works such as Hurlyburly and Streamers, David Rabe's depictions of violence and the dark side of the human psyche have won him widespread acclaim. In Recital of the Dog, a painter who has left urban chaos for the country soon finds his hopes of tranquillity shattered by a marauding intruder-a dog that torments his small herd of cows. Desperate to restore order to his world, the man shoots the dog, unwittingly unleashing a nightmare on himself. This is a tale of creation and destruction, crime and punishment, rife with insight and black comedy.

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even uncover evidence of unnatural powers, because black magic, hexes, sorcery are the only way I can think of to explain the confounding scenes I have just witnessed. In the bedroom, the third drawer of the second dresser discloses the journal beneath a pile of underwear and T-shirts. When I persist a little further, probing the socks, I’m rewarded with the photo album. The fact that these items, charged with such significance, were so lackadaisically hidden testifies either to her innocence or

back my discourse with absolute claims, my heart rallied in support of the tenets of this small but aching philosophy. My need to convince you of its merit took on sudden, huge dimensions. I had to convince you. And then I realized why. It was because I did not in fact exist. There was only you. I was a memory, a flickering fiction, nothing more. It had all happened long ago and I was just remembering it and I was fading. I had lost her. She was long ago lost. She was gone from me. I was gone

looking for the body of a dog who isn’t even there, who isn’t even dead. A carcass that isn’t anywhere at all. I could be dead. I could be unconscious. I fell hard in the Old Man’s kitchen, slamming my head on the floor. But I’m not. I’m awake, staring at the dark, my fingers seeking along the base of my skull until they find the tender lump where I struck the linoleum, a squishy swelling, like a leech stuffed with blood. My head is lowering. Though I can’t see the ground, I can smell it, a

of his shape. He must seem a chunk of earth come alive, yet eroding. He must seem to be falling backward into himself, as if there’s an open sore in his belly into which his spirit is being retracted and covered over in a swirl of scars. But as I reach the door of my studio, it’s as if the night turns into a walk-in freezer. My arms seem slabs unrelated to my body. My hand, moving to turn the knob, hangs in the air, flopping like a fish. It slaps at the door. What is this? What’s going on? It’s

the drums. Beside me lies the violin. Hurtling through the air, the saxophone is startling. What’s left for me but screaming? Everything else is noise and whirling! I blow, I gasp, I wheeze. And then I stop, but that which I have initiated continues. It is out of all control now, a cacophony around me, a cataract of noise in whose spumes I’m trying to shout for help. But I am being impelled in bursts that are either the inspiration or consequence of some superhuman expression preempting the event

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