A Transparent Tree: Fictions - eBook
Available as a Kindle edition from Amazon,
or as an Epub edition from Kobo.
Each of the eleven long and short fictions in this book is a mystery of language branching from its imaginary root. Through different settings and events, Kelly explores the dimensions of a central theme — how people act without knowing what is happening to them, how they move through the enigma of desire and intention while waiting for the world to decipher itself. Written with the clarity and palpably sensuous, carefully crafted style that has won awards for this poetry, this premier collection, which includes the famous novella "Cities," received an American Academy-Institute Award in 1985.
"Many single-author collections of stories are the same story retold with minor variations; that is not the case here. Each of these fictions is an attempt to explore the capabilities of language to express the mystery and excitement of man's relationship with the universe, the connection between consciousness and its object, and the connection between imagination and reality.... The affinities are with the writings of Borges, Nabokov, Calvino, and Robert Coover." --Choice (American Library Assn.)
"Robert Kelly's Scorpions was one of the finest of the cult novels of the '60s, 'cult' being a euphemism for 'undeservedly underread,' and it alerted us to a very special talent. Since then, we've learned to watch out for his short fictions, often lighting up the literary world with their astonishing mix of intellect, romanticism, and daring imagination. This collection, with such Kelly classics as 'Cities,' and 'The Guest,' is a welcome publishing event." --Robert Coover
"These eleven fictions vary iun length and ambition, from short neo-parables to the thirty-page alternative anthropology of 'Cities,' the story of one man's journeys to secret cities hidden in all corners of the world. In their brilliant invention and intricate detail these cities (and the counrty of 'Wheres') are much closer to those of Harry Mathew's work than to the more romantic Invisible Cities of Italo Calvino. 'Cities' offers no plot, only an illumination of man's restless urge to explore all possibilities. …'The Guest' is a tale of demonic possession, with an erotic slant. A spirit takes up residence in a woman's body, alternately taking and giving pleasure to keep her under control. Kelly's sensual language is at its best in this story: 'I could become her clitoris and preen myself there, like an owl in a canoe, in the slender craft of her lips.' …Treat yourself to this book. Better buy two copies. You may find yourself just holding this book, or tapping the cover as you pass it, or using the spine to cool your brow, and you may wear out one copy. Books good enough to be used as touchstones are rare. This is one." — New Pages #10