Puncher & Wattmann
by Christopher Conti
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The actor who can't leave the stage - like the sales rep who lives in transit, the stenographer who throws himself on the mercy of the court, the chess master who fakes his own funeral, the judge who swears in witnesses to his dream of auto-execution or the student who steals the identities of excursionists to the Veste Oberhaus in Passau - is at the end of his rope. The personal catastrophes catalogued in the reports, notices, anecdotes, aphorisms and parables that make up Proofs, as in those of its model, Thomas Bernhard's The Voice Imitator, arose in the nature of things, as the final entry 'pseudonym' remarks in a tribute to Bernhard.
"In the brilliant literary parabolas of his fictional debut, Christopher Conti shows himself a modern master. Sharply etched, sardonic, witty and wise, these stories, if that's what they are, turn a contemporary chronicler's eye to the way madness and death play havoc with our bizarrely managed lives. Conti writes with urbanity, elegance, and that rarest of gifts - a true originality."
— Nicholas Jose
"Reminiscent of Calvino, Bernhard or Borges, these are quirky, original and elegant tales - counterfactual excursions into the outer-space of the everyday."
— Gail Jones
Christopher Conti lives in Sydney with his wife and their three children. Proofs is his first work of fiction.