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Forgetfulness, Forgetfulness, 1573661228, 1-57366-122-8, 978-1-57366-122-5, 9781573661225,

A Novel
by Michael Mejia

Quality Paper
2005. 236 pp.
Price:  $19.95 s

The first part of Forgetfulness is a fictional monograph on the life of the Austrian modernist composer Anton von Webern (1883-1945).The collage-work monograph unfolds in a Webernian sequence of events and silences combining quotes from Webern, his friends and associates, and various historical and literary figures with short scenes, monologues, dialogues, newspaper articles, and theater and film scripts. The result is a lyrical panorama of early twentieth century Vienna.

The second part of the book takes place in Vienna on May 1st, 1986, shortly before the election of Kurt Waldheim as President of the Austrian Republic and shortly after the Chernobyl disaster. The three simultaneous, intertwining monologues of an archivist, a retired opera singer, and the author of the monograph, revisit the themes and events of the first part, commenting on postwar conceptions, analyses, and revisions of the period during which Webern lived, while continuously haunted by the specters of Waldheim and Chernobyl, the persistence of crimes that are immanent, unpaid for, or only dimly, disingenuously recalled.

A native of Sacramento, California, Michael Mejia spent two years swinging from the lowest rungs of the Hollywood ladder before moving to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama. While completing his degree, he also worked as a writer, video producer, and on-camera personality for Integrated Science 7, an award-winning and internationally distributed science education program for middle school students that took him around the world, from Alabama's gulf coast to Hawaii, Mexico, Iceland, and Australia. Currently, Michael lives with his fiancée and their Jack Russell Terrier in Rome, Georgia, where he teaches creative writing at Berry College.

"Michael Mejia's beautiful book <i>Forgetfulness,</i> like the music of Webern, Berg, and Schoenberg it describes, is at once rhapsodic and brilliantly patterned; intoxicating and starkly lucid; avant-garde and deeply lyrical; cleverly calculated and fiercely loving."
--M. T. Anderson, Fiction Editor, <i>3rd bed</i>

"Like archeological discoveries that recast the present, Michael Mejia's astonishing novel <i>Forgetfulness</i> reconstructs what art does best. Imagine music-and fiction-as a portrait of how the world works, instead of as entertainment or any of its other uses, and you'll get an intimation of his achievement." --Steve Tomasula , author of <i>Vas: An Opera in Flatland</i>

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