Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Twiddledum Twaddledum

Twiddledum Twaddledum
by Peter Spielberg

Paperback
1974
Price: $10.95

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A half serious, half joking take-off on the traditional developmental novel.  Twiddledum Twaddledum presents the fortunes and misfortunes, the adventures and misadventures of a young man in search of himslef in an absurd world where opposites are identical twins but never reconciled.  Hate and love, pleasure and pain, victory and defeat, birth and death, fear and courage, lust and nausea are only surface masks beneath which we'll find, as the titlel implies, the same face.  This satiric novel mirrors a schizoid world in which dangers are part actual and part imaginary; where punishment is sought yet fled from;  where guilt is accepted at the same time that it is denied;  where fiction and reality are interchangeable.


"A remarkable new work by Peter Spielberg, the author of Bedrock, a collection of related stories whose metaphors "extend realistic situations into conditions of neurotic existential stalmate...notable for their spare, stripped style and pungent understatment...raw, inventive stuff."

Library Journal


"A brilliant, marvelous novel. Mystifying and haunting, the book, like all great art, creates a world."—The Nation


Excerpt


It was a hard birth.  The mother-to-be strained and pushed at the doctor's command, but the foetus would not be dislodged.  The assisting surgeon cursed, "Stubborn, headstrong little bastard!" and gave a vicious twist to the accoucheur's forceps.  The woman screamed again.  Dozent Hecht shook his head and called for more ether.


When, many hours later, a male child had been delivered, the assisting surgeon, anesthetist, and nurse were completely exhausted.  Only Dr.  Hecht retained his professional calm, his beside detachment, although he like the others was covered from head to foot with sweat and blood.  He pushed the fagged-out assistants aside, ignoring the screaming newborn infant, and gave his attention to the mother's swollen belly.


Stamping his feet for silence, he bent over the strapped-down woman for a closer examination, his huge head almost disappearing completely between her spread-eagle thighs.  He probed and grunted.


Then his great, bald, red head reappeared and barked rapid orders.  A fresh contingent of assistants was called for.  The dismissed group of aides made way for the new, but did not leave the operating theater.  They watched with awe as the great doctor, one of the most experienced and most expensive in Vienna, grunting and puffing, yet dountfulessly in full control of the situation, seemingly inexhaustible, prepared for another birth.