Lofton Gitt Reviews The Kyoto Man

In addition to writing a preliminary blurb for The Kyoto Man, Lofton Gitt has written a full review that will be published in the NYT Book Review. Here’s one passage I really liked:

"According to Herman Melville’s foremost biographer, Newton Arvin, the 'aborted author' lived on a diet of 'nostalgia for the venerable and the moribund, and mingled with this was some still more special longing for the Biblical, the Hebraic, the Judaean pastthe past of the patriarchs and the judges, the prophets and the kings. Few men’s minds have been more richly stored than Melville’s with the imagery of Biblical story, of the Old Testament record especially; it had been woven into the fabric of his imagination from earliest childhood, and he had constantly recurred to it; it was a permanent point of reference for his spirit.' Without question, the scikungfi trilogy constitutes Wilson’s Moby Dick—allusions to everything from the White Whale to the plight of the bearded artist are as rampant as they are dubious and ultimately moot—only instead of the Bible, the traumatic kernel that clearly energizes Wilson and determines the flows of his desires is the science fiction genre, the machinery of which materializes in the trilogy, again and again, through the techno-idiotic sieve of pop culture. Of course, it will be some time before readers are ready to attend to the dynamics of science fiction with the same enthusiasm and interest as the Bible, despite the ongoing science fictionalization of reality, and Wilson expects far too much from readers, who grow increasingly more handicapped, disabled and zombified every day. Melville’s readers were neither prepared for nor willing to engage with his texts at the level of acuity he requiredas Arvin writes, his audience failed to 'follow him into the intellectual and imaginative regions that were his true territory.' Certainly Wilson can expect nothing more than this. At best, he might hope to be altogether ignored, forgotten before he is even remembered, and as I understand it, he is doing a good job in this capacity."