Loveee | BookishFirst

Loveee

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In "Corrupted Humours," a Manhattan-based satyr is asked by the editor of the magazine for which he writes to investigate the mysterious death of his cousin, a psychiatrist who burst into flames on an operating table during the ligation of a colonic polyp. Along the way the literary quasi-lion decides to write a novel based on one of the doctor's parents, a book-within-a-book that he excerpts between chapters of the main narrative, and is forced to confront his own mortality as he becomes romantically attached to a philosophy student several decades his junior. With its combination of highbrow erudition and lowbrow humor (the dead psychiatrist suffered from chronic flatulence), meta-fictional self-awareness, sexual obsessions, exquisite attention to detail, and monomaniacal focus on the struggles of an aging alpha male, "Corrupted Humours" is exactly the sort of boomer roman a clef which I believed epitomized literary fiction when I was a young man and didn't think could be written this deep into the 21st century.