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Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges

Authors: Montague Kobbe

ISBN: 9781907133732

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Fifty bilingual micro stories strung together by emotional ties progressively weave a sense of reality that is both drastically different to that expressed in each individual tale and at the same time shared—perhaps even created—by the entire collection. The conventional tropes of love and lust, travel and sleep are deliberately approached with awareness of the tradition and a dose of provocation, sending the reader on a dangerous path along the outer edges of the cliché, hanging by the thread of irony and humour over the abyss of the banal. Form is central to a concept in which the short story has been boiled down to its most fundamental core: action. In this sense, context has often been totally or partially removed, giving primacy instead to the verb and its echoes, both within the collection and in relation to literary tradition. Equally central to the concept is the role of sound.

Intended to be read aloud and in succession, the English and Spanish versions of each story simultaneously highlight the similarities (or lack thereof) between the two languages and the shortcomings of language in general to express reality in full. In the midst of a time that has rediscovered the incommensurable potential stored in 140 characters, Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges / Historias de camas y aeropuertos builds with fifty hollow, perforated, partial bricks and their respective mirrors a complex universe that is palpable yet cannot be pinpointed, that derives from each of the pieces yet cannot be identified in any of them. In other words, a hazy universe which relies on the interpretation of the reader to gain its specific shape.

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