Kevin Brockmeier, "A Fable With a Photograph of a Glass Mobile on the Wall"

A guy enjoys a peaceful life making wooden furniture until a magazine article draws unwanted attention.

(from The View from the Seventh Layer)

So, yeah,
after the article is published the phone won’t stop ringing, everybody either wants in on his action or wants to buy furniture. He can’t concentrate. So he takes a four-month job teaching a class on woodworking and the house he stays in has pictures of a boy that can see him. I guess this is a fable because it’s told simply and gently, not because there’s any kind of lesson to be learned here. That’s fine.

One thought on “Kevin Brockmeier, "A Fable With a Photograph of a Glass Mobile on the Wall"

  1. Nobody Really

    You picked the two lamest and lousiest stories from this anthology to review (big surprise, it’s certainly in keeping with what I know of your taste!).
    For a representation of Brockmeier at his best, it’s definitely The Lives Of The Philosophers. The other stories in Seventh Layer were well-phrased, yet mostly lacking in distinct plot, action, and resolution; just like that HACK Murakami’s teasing vignettes; lots of pretty little appetizers that lead into empty and wholly unsatisfying meals, I despise them! Why must he draw me in, only to tell me almost nothing?
    ‘Philosophers’ more than made up for the mediocrity of the other stories in Seventh Layer. It was a brilliant, yet subtle, expression of the inescapable sadness and evolved brutality inherent in human nature. I can’t overstate how impressed I was with every aspect of it; the story construction, the mellifluous flow of the sentences, the use of metaphor, double-entendre, and parallelism, as well as the philosophical point it expresses. It was perfect and transcendent, and I will never forget it.

    And for the HACKS who purport to “review” stories for this mindless, immature excuse for a blog; THAT’S how to write a review.
    You should all demand your parents’ money back for those worthless MFAs you’re so proud of, you may have “earned it”, but ya didn’t learn it.


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