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day politics or the assassination of Kennedy. In Ohle’s work, the whole notion of time, and especially of Great Forgettings, seems to recommend against historical allegory. If anything, Ohle demonstrates how history is apt to circle back on itself, revealing patterns that have no real meaning beyond their own aesthetic charm. The slippery nature of his fiction conceals no hidden agenda, no straightforward political critique. Instead, the slipperiness is itself the critique. Ohle is teaching usmaybe “training” is a better wordto face up to the instability of the world we live In his typical fashion, Ohle delivers what might be a central idea couched in satirea satire of allknowing wise men who speak in riddles. Ohle will never step forward to tell us plainly what his books are about. In a sense, it’s even irresponsible of me as a reviewer to try to pin a stable meaning onto the world of possibilities he has created. Tell 10 different people to read this book, and all 10 will say that it’s about something different. But judging by the response to Ohle’s first novel, there is one reaction they are likely to have in common: They’ll want to read more. That wish might be grantedOhle reports that he is at work on a third book set in Moldenke’s world, tentatively titled The Pisstown Chaos. Here’s hoping that he can finish it sometime before 2035. Michael Agresta is a prose writer and playwright in Austin. ade as universal moral imperatives; they are recognized as arbitrary and revered all the more because of their arbitrariness. Experiencing Ratt’s world through Moldenke, we get a taste of a reality that may not be so much different from our own after all. Anative of New Orleans, Ohle worked for the for the Louisiana Department of Health in the 1960s, testing fecal samples for salmonella and shigella. This truly disgusting blue-collar job might help explain why his fiction is so often fixated on the less exalted elements of the human body. The Age of Sinatra is full of creative extensions of human anatomy, including facial growths called flocculi, sub-human species called neutrodynes and Stinkers, and “death eggs”edible excretions made by neutrodynes as life leaves their bodies. After Motorman was published, Ohle lived in Austin for several years in and take an autonomous, creative stance toward it, to just jump into the abyss. Toward the end of the novel, one of the neutrodyne characters \(what differentiates neutrodynes from humans is explains the guiding philosophy of his species, Yogic, a “marriage of Logic and Yoga.” Art is the communication of feeling. Science is the communication of measure. Yogic is the communication of the intuitive leap. And what is the intuitive leap? Even expecting tomorrow’s sun is such a leap. This is both what Yogic is about and what Yogic has nothing at all to do with. and was one of a group of experimental fiction writers teaching at the University of Texas. He later became Burroughs’ personal assistant, settled in Lawrence, Kansas, and taught at the University of Kansas, where he continues to teach today. In 2002, GroveAtlantic published Cursed from Birth: The Short Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs, Jr., compiled and edited by Ohle. Considering the time involved in the creation of The Age of Sinatra, it would be a mistake to place too much emphasis on its relevance to any specific historical moment, whether it be present FEBRUARY 18, 2005 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23