The Short of it All: Dreams and Scenes of Memoir Fiction
Marc Zimmerman, signed by author
With a gentle tip of his hat to Kafka, Zimmerman presents M, his professor/author protagonist, haunted by problems with his weight and wives, his writing, teaching, ethnicity and performance. Where does all this lead? What can one make of these dreams and scenes of memory fiction? “If memories are ultimately fiction, no matter how based on our experiences, then, memoirs are inevitably fictional representations of memory; and memoir fictions are the overt reworking of memory into aesthetically honed narratives. Logically, then, memoir dream fictions are somehow the narrations of dreams which throughout or in one moment or another, lead to the intervention, however refracted, of one or another fictional trope or move that gives what we can remember of our dreams the substance and form required to somehow achieve status as a ‘literary work.'” This small book presents brief dreams and dreamlike scenes that have emerged in Zimmerman’s pursuit of memoir fiction over the past several years. Some perhaps at least seem to be trivial, others are clearly more; but all of them, taken together, achieve an elusive but ultimate depth. Some of the stories stem from his boyhood memories and projections; from his anxieties throughout his career and his life as Jewish American and human being. Several stem from his years after retirement, when he faces the dread of being diminished, mocked or forgotten as he rushes toward his illuminating dark. All these stories are really among the shortest of what Zimmerman has written-the short of his all.
Prologue: The Out of Gas Triptych
Life Scenes and Dreams
Epilogue: Night at the Crossroads
About Marc Zimmerman