Reading William T. Vollmann's Last Stories and Other Stories (Viking) is a matter of granting permission to the author to lead you: and where will this be? To the "wall of ill" (a wall we can only imagine but, being alive, can never access) that separates life from death. Vollmann begins this rich collection with a message to his reader and a set of Supernatural Axioms meant to prepare, intrigue, or perhaps ward you off. This week, we take the opportunity to dissect Vollmann’s opening remarks, brimful of images of dark mixed with sweet.
Read an excerpt from Last Stories and Other Stories.