TABLE 41: A NOVEL by Joseph Suglia

Gott versprach sich, als er den Menschen schuf.

God misspoke when he created the human being.

—Elias Canetti

Je edler ein Ding in seiner Vollkommenheit, desto grässlicher in seiner Verwesung.

The nobler a thing in its perfection, the more hideous it will be in its decomposition.

—Moses Mendelssohn, quoting a ‘Hebraic writer’

Dedicated to Joseph Suglia

Thanks to Friedrich Nietzsche, D.H. Lawrence, and J.G. Ballard.

Reference is made to “Mussel Hunter at Rock Harbor” by Sylvia Plath, “Der Panther” by Rainer Maria Rilke, Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats, “Decorative Art in America” by Oscar Wilde, and the Natural History of Pliny the Elder.

Copyright 2018 by Joseph Suglia


133 thoughts on “TABLE 41: A NOVEL by Joseph Suglia”

    1. I’ve just read some of the chapters. It’s interesting where the inspiration came from! I remember you emailed a response way back in 2008 to say you were writing a book that was unique in its concepts!

      I see Dean J Baker liked this post as well! Yeah he was the first person in my friends list on MySpace in Sep 2006. How time flies!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. . . . listened to a good deal of your interview. A lactified city. . .and so forth. I have an idea you will very much like to follow my work though I take the cerebral elements you seem to dwell on and spin about your way, and churn them out rather comically, satirically. Hahaha: We’re all narcissists. You must read Josipovici on Friedrich. And my post with the large format camera overlooking the horizon is my figureless homage to that the painting you refer to.

    Thanks, by the way, at reading my posts as carefully as I suspect you have and are.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am really interested in your novel. I could tell a number of your influences, even before I read the acknowledgements and they are authors who have shaped my education as well. You didn’t mention her, but I see a lot of Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse” here. I am not perceptive enough to write in steam of consciousness so I am very impressed by your work.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I never said that “tableau” means “table.” I said that the French word for “table” is “tableau” — which it is. “Table” not in the sense of a piece of furniture with four legs, but in the sense of a plane surface upon which symbols are inscribed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. am listening to your interview, and completely agree about being bored with subject matter that fascinated in the previous decade. Just curious….why post your entire novel in chapters on WordPress?


  4. please dont be mad at me, kay? i dont no what u mean in the interview, kay? please dont be mad at me cuz im just expressing my opinion which is I have the right to do that.


  5. Dr. (Curious as to of what) What do you think is controversial in your video that upsets YouTube? I found it to be boldly opinionated, and thought provoking, but not particularly inflammatory.

    The YouTube administration is profoundly troubled by the discussion that occurs from 10:00 until 20:00.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi,

    I was halfway done listening to the interview and had to pause once you read out the passage on the baobab tree because, obviously, I needed to look up the tree online since I had never heard of it before. Then I returned to listening to your explanation of the use of the tree and how it seeped “milk”, and I wondered how was the phallic symbolism of the tree not discussed, given the tree’s strong resemblance to the male reproductory organ. The shape of the trunk, the ridges on its skin, two mythological references of it being uprooted and then buried in the earth, which in itself is symbolically feminine and fertile. Even as you described how the milk from the tree is not actually milk but more like a sap that is thicker, this phallic relationship to me is further confirmed. As you go on to comparing this milk that “emanates” from the tree to another passage where animals are swimming in milk, I noticed another association to this effect in your word choices. While you say the milk from the tree is “primal” you describe the pool of milk as life-giving or “nourishing”. The use of the word primal itself has such force and baseness to the act while life-giving/nourishing is so much softer, again traditionally male-female comparison. Yet you found similarity between the pool of milk and the milk from the tree as both being life-giving, which is essentially true. The fact that in your book it never coagulates, could it be that life on earth carries on down generations? I don’t know, this is the picture I drew as you read and spoke about the passage. I have yet to read the whole novel to delve further and see if I recognize this theme in other sections of the book to be valid to the content but I can really appreciate the world building – it is something that, as a writer, I wish to use further in my future projects.

    I can also admire how you could go and change track while within the drafting process to shift the writing from being character-driven to setting-driven. I began my blog by posting chapters of a novel as I wrote them to push myself to complete what I started for a change. After 05 years, once I finally finished the work, I realized that I began caring more about the story than I originally planned to and my mindset had developed so much over the years that while the last half of the book made sense to me, the first half no longer did. But it’s already up there, so…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the interview, that was very interesting. I really enjoyed hearing all your perspectives on writing and writers, and your philosophy about writing. I look forward to reading Table 41 – thank you for sharing it with the world for free.


  8. I am interested; listened to a portion of the radio interview and read the First Table. Definitely will consume more. Remembering discovering the artist author Tom McCarthy, in particular his book “Men In Space.” I may review his writing after reading the remaining Tables. Thank you for writing. (there are no appropriate emoticons, so I just say, ‘thanks.’)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love this quote you mentioned:
    “The nobler a thing in its perfection, the more hideous it will be in its decomposition.”

    Your knowledge of Literature, based on the names you mentioned, is awesome 😀 Great to see that.


  10. I can’t see my comment which I just wrote.

    To reiterate, I’ve read some of the ‘tables’ and it’s unique and intriguing, as you’d suggested in an email in 2008.

    I see the poet, Dean J Baker likes this post! He was my first friend on MySpace when I joined that site in September 2006. How time flies, huh?

    Liked by 1 person

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