Symptoms of the Lunatic

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About the author:
David J. Keffer was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He pursued a technical education earning a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. After a year as a post-doctoral scholar at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., he began his career as an engineering professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he remains today. He has published about 90 technical papers in archival journals.

Outside of engineering, David Keffer studied world literature and creative writing. He has published analytical articles on the works of Primo Levi and Kobo Abé located in the Scriptorium of The Modern Word site. He created various reading aids to several classical Chinese novels. Over the past two decades, David Keffer has been active writing novels, poetry and stories. He has previously published 8 novels and 3 illustrated stories at the Poison Pie Publishing House.

David Keffer lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with his wife, Lynn, and two children. As a family, they enjoy hiking through the local mountains and are always on the look out for poison pie and other ambivalent mushrooms that dot the landscape.

Symptoms of the Lunatic

Authored by David J Keffer

Short Description: The author asks that the following disclaimer be included at the beginning of the description of Symptoms of the Lunatic.

Symptoms of the Lunatic is a novel written about a lunatic in the manner of a lunatic. Readers possessed of a sane mind may find that the writing of a lunatic contains what appears to them to be circuitous arguments of questionable logic that seek to justify both ends of any debate, incredibly detailed examinations of trivial minutiae in which no one can be expected to have any sustained interest, arbitrary diatribes against random facets of the physical world, innumerable pointless detours and digressions of unconscionable length. That the writing of a lunatic should challenge the attention of even the most patient reader should not be surprising. Disclaimers aside, herein lies the testament of a lunatic who lost sight of what it means to be part of the human community and who struggled with the internal machinations he developed to occupy himself in its absence.

Extended Description: In Symptoms of the Lunatic, the artifice of a DEA stake-out is employed to examine the psychological state of the lunatic, who has through a combination of history and genetics come to a point where he has isolated himself from virtually all contact with society, despite living within the metropolitan area of Washington, DC. Rejecting the external world, the lunatic turns his focus inward and is lost inside himself. That his ruminations refuse to follow conventional paths is to be expected. That his thoughts meander at a glacial pace, which lie beyond any reasonable expectation of tolerance, is simply a reflection of his isolation and his acceptance that there was no audience for these internal reflections. When the lunatic is extricated from his cocoon by circumstances beyond his control he interacts poorly with those with whom he comes in contact, which again would be surprising only if it were any other way.

Nevertheless, this book was written and there is no other quite like it. At times, one hears the obsessive compulsion for detail reminiscent of Kobo Abé in, for example, The Face of Another. At other times, one is reminded of the solitary protagonist in Thomas Bernhard's Concrete. Still, this lunatic displays his own unique brand of lunacy, highlighted by his haunting by the ghost of Lee Dong Il, the lost child whom his younger brother was prior to being adopted and brought into the lunatic's family under a different name thirty years earlier.

One understands from this novel that uncertainty permeates the universe. There are a wide variety of responses that human beings adopt in response to this uncertainty. The particular response adopted by the lunatic in this novel is one in which there is limited utility and redemption.

Publication Date:
1482384841 / 9781482384840
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Literary

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