Sunday, April 12, 2009
Hugh Fox Takes on the Talmud in Outer Space.
By Doug Holder
In Hugh Fox’s new book of novellas: “Ice House and Thirteen Keys to the Talmud,” (Crossing Chaos Press) Fox is in form as a consummate avant-garde writer. Seekers of traditional narrative plot, character, be warned: this book ain’t for you. Reviewer Lo Galluccio covered the waterfront in her review of “Ice House,” that describes Fox’s life with his second wife. Fox writes of his ex: “She is the sexiest woman who has ever stretched across the bed sheets of planet Earth.” Naturally juicy tales are forthcoming in the book, be it with a devoutly abstract style.
Fox was raised as a Catholic, but he had a clandestine Jewish grandmother, who only revealed her true identity when she was belting out her swan song. She told the young Fox shortly before she took leave of this material dimension: “Become a Jew. You will never regret it; it will immensely enrich your life."
Through a Talmudic scholar of his acquaintance, Menke Katz, Fox was introduced to the Talmud, a sacred book of commentary and interpretation that would help Fox deal with life and all the curve balls it threw his way. Fox writes of the writing of “The Thirteen Keys to the Talmud”: “Of course when I wrote the book my second wife and I had broken up, and I hadn’t seen my little son, Chris, for more than a year, and it was this sense of loss that prompted me to write such a surrealistic statement about alienation separation—all in a sacred Talmudic context.” In the book, Fox’s estranged biological son Chris, wakes up in a spaceship, hurtling through the universe, and is asked a series of questions by a mysterious figure on a screen. The woman is a cross between a Talmudic scholar, a neurotic stock character from an early Woody Allen film, and a sibling of the nefarious Hal from Space Odyssey. Enough said. Leave it to Fox to blow the lid on conventions…read at your own risk!
Doug Holder/ Ibbetson Update