The Circus of Trust

The Circus of Trust

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Author: Mark Tardi

Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press (2017)

It could be in Chernobyl, in Chicago, or in the future; it could be “the Brooklyn Vampire” Albert Fish penning a letter to a grieving mother or “the Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe being described by his paranoid schizophrenic wife; it could be the birth of a child turned literally inside out in a world “more wolf than lion, more hyena than either”; and it could be you, dear reader, “not a person, but a doubt contemptuous of stone and silence and time itself.”

In The Circus of Trust, Mark Tardi implicates us all in a pastoral of detritus where “the same indifferent sun” unflinchingly tracks devastation as part of the most routine actions. Whether the violence is architectural, biological, geological, or technological, we’re warned that atrocity is the most resilient form of human currency: “You don’t have to step on a body to carry death on your shoes.”