A Mortal Affect
is a satire of meaning systems targeting the role bureaucracy and cultural assumptions play in creating, distorting, and replicating the things we believe to be true. Informed by an absurdism in the Modernist vein, the novel is a celebration of error and folly that questions the wisdom of conviction and the faith in metaphysics. These themes play out in a fictional world inhabited by mortals and immortals, the oppressed and the oppressors. The former understand their condition of being oppressed but have no concept of freedom, while the latter emulate mortals but lack the ability to eat, reproduce, or die, even by suicide. Never allegorical or polemical, the novel operates comfortably within the bounds of comedy, avoiding the earnestness and self-conscious urgency common to the novel of ideas.
Vincent Standley was born and raised in Bellingham. His fiction has appeared in Denver Quarterly
, Post Road
, Colorado Review
, Quarterly West
, and Encyclopedia
. Non-fiction has appeared in the anthology Rules of Thumb
, The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Literature
, and The Paris Review
. He is the former editor of 3rd bed
. A Mortal Affect
is his first novel.