Charles Yu’s “Problems for Self Study,” one of the strongest pieces in the collection, takes a traditional subject — the birth and death of a relationship — and filters it through the sieve of a physics problem:
a) Imagine you are 20m from A. Close enough to see his face. Close enough to know his shape. Close enough to imagine Contact.
b) You have a rope. If you can throw it just right, you may be able to tie yourself to A, turn his course, affect his trajectory. You will not be able to stop him, but you may be able to make sure that wherever it is he drifts to you end up there as well.
That’s some wonderful writing.
From a review by Johannes Lichtman of Fakes : An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, “Found” Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts in the Los Angeles Review of Books. The review includes some very interesting words about teaching texts to students, too.