Both an exorcism of contemporary academia and a comedic portrait of an artist seeking the means to survive
At once angry and jubilant, Ray Levy’s School is a curse on a dying system and an incantation for transforming pain into a vessel for capacious, creative selfhood.
A dissertation manuscript possessed by the spirit of Marquis de Sade; a lecture on psychoanalysis delivered as stand-up comedy by a dysphoric graduate student; a review of a found-footage horror movie that’s also a YouTube video of a conference presentation on French theory; an interview with an avant-garde filmmaker that’s really an invocation for conjuring your demon brother; oversharing and withholding, chanting and channeling, School is a slapstick roast of Derrida’s corpse and a mystical vision of a life in which you have not lost.
Ray Levy is assistant professor of English at the University of Mary Washington. He is author of Negative Space and A Book So Red.
“ There is such pleasure to be found in School, such virulence and cruelty. It’s a novel in rituals, a novel to read and reread until you disappear into its demon-ridden thickets of meaning and emerge as anything, a six-headed elk-owl that sings in the voice of Nancy Sinatra, a cenobitic orca, the end of Hegel.” —Joanna Ruocco, author of Dan