Open this book Dogma

Dogma

A Novel

The sequel to the 2011 hit Spurious—which was acclaimed by The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post, which called it “fearsomely funny”—Dogma finds Lars and W. still, continually and without cease, arguing, although this time in a different country.

This time out, the duo embarks on a trip to the American Deep South, where, in company with a band of Canadians who may or may not be related to W., they attempt to form a new religion based on their philosophical studies. Their mission is soon derailed by their inability to take meaningful action, their endless bickering, the peculiar behavior of the natives, and by a true catastrophe: they can’t seem to find a liquor store that carries their brand of gin.

Part Nietzsche, part Monty Python, part Huckleberry Finn, Dogma is a novel as ridiculous and profound as religion itself.

Iyer, Lars

LARS IYER is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He is the author of two books on Blanchot (Blanchot’s Communism: Art, Philosophy, Politics and Blanchot’s Vigilance: Phenomenology, Literature, Ethics) and the novel Spurious, which was 3:AM Magazine’s Book of the Year in 2011. He writes at his blog Spuriousand is also a contributor to Britain’s leading literary blog, Ready, Steady, Book. His literary manifesto, “Nude in Your Hot Tub, Facing the Abyss” appeared in Post Road and The White Review.

“Dogma, like its prequel Spurious, is provocative in its arguments, scrupulously plain in its style and excoriating in its honesty. Iyer is an author who rejects the parochialism and timidity we too often associate with British novelists in favour of an ugly grapple with the big themes.” The Spectator (UK)

“More or less plotless novels about a couple of bickering, self-pitying intellectuals and their recondite obsessions ought to be tiresome slogs, but Lars and W.’s circular and frequently repetitive dialogue is so witheringly, gut-bustingly funny that Spurious and Dogma both maintain a madcap forward momentum even as their characters remain stalled.”—The New Inquiry

Dogma is chock-full of this and other modest proposals. Just when my hilarity over the first book of their misadventures, Spurious, had faded to a low chuckle, Dogma comes along. Between the two books, there’s almost no point in breathing, much less coming to any strong conclusions about life, the universe, and everything.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“Uproarious.” NY Times

“Dogma, like its prequel Spurious, is provocative in its arguments, scrupulously plain in its style and excoriating in its honesty. Iyer is an author who rejects the parochialism and timidity we too often associate with British novelists in favour of an ugly grapple with the big themes.” The Spectator (UK)

“[Dogma] brings back W. and Lars, the most unlikely and absurd literary duo since Samuel Beckett’s Vladimir and Estragon….Like Godot, this novel is a philosophical rumination, at once serious and playful, on the nature of existence and meaning. While it’s comic, there is at bottom a profoundly tragic sense of the chaos and emptiness of modern life. Despair has rarely been so entertaining.” Library Journal

“The United Kingdom has a Thomas Bernhard, and his name is Lars Iyer….Dogma is hilarious and bleak and loaded with illuminating, brilliant passages, and Iyer’s rapid-fire staccato prose is well-suited to the task. For those who like their dark, difficult books to be funny.” Hey, Small Press!

“Few writers have captured the despair and self-loathing that necessarily accompany the academic life as perfectly as Lars Iyer, and surely fewer have done it so humorously.” —An und für sich

PRAISE FOR SPURIOUS

“It’s wonderful. I’d recommend the book for its insults alone.” —Sam Jordison, The Guardian

“Fearsomely funny.” —The Washington Post
 
“Viciously funny.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“I’m still laughing, and it’s days later.” —The Los Angeles Times

“A tiny marvel…. [A] wonderfully monstrous creation.” —Steven Poole, The Guardian

“This novel has a seductive way of always doubling back on itself, scorching the earth but extracting its own strange brand of laughter from its commitment to despair.” —The Believer

“Ought to be unreadable, but manages to be intelligent, wildly entertaining, and unexpectedly moving instead.” —The Millions

“The bathos is perfectly pitched, and Lars and W.’s antics are gloriously uproarious.” – David Winters, The Rumpus

“Expertly crafted throughout… Dogma is also constantly in the process of becoming, which is why — for all the talk of exhaustion and Armageddon — it feels so vital and remarkably angst-free. … a comic celebration.” – Andrew Gallix, Bookslut

“Iyer has distinguished himself as a writer of great comic ability, and I would certainly snap up anything else he might write to see how he deploys this blend of erudition and wit.” – Jacob Silverman, The Quarterly Conversation

“Happily, the insults are a Falstafian (as in Spurious)… Dogma’s aphoristic style makes the urge to frequently quote from it irresistible.” — The Indian Express

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