a treatise on wisdom by process of elimination
by David J. Keffer

Short Description: novelwise provides a description of six wisemen and one eight-year-old girl who converged to discuss wisdom. Counted in their number was

  • a Champion of Meaninglessness,
  • a Reborn Nihilist,
  • an Impractical Playwright
  • an Ex-Con Praegustic,
  • a Senile Cuckold, and
  • a Philosophical Taoist.
Together they tackle various thorny issues including appropriate substitutes for the gifts of Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, the gross abdication of responsibility by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and the demons of François Rabelais. They embrace the absurd with unreserved affection. They lose sight of their lofty goals, often succumbing to a preoccupation with their own weaknesses and vices. They attach as appendices to chapters personal anecdotes, screenplays, excerpts from PhD dissertations, and fragments of near-death hallucinations. All ingredients are combined in this novel to arrive at an understanding of wisdom through the unlikely process of elimination.

Disclaimer: It is hard to imagine the motivation of person who wrote this book, even for that same person reading it for the first time twenty-years later. There is a sustained effort at an intellectual wit that may appeal to aficionados of such techniques. There is more or less a total disregard for the comfort and interests of the reader, which may appeal to those minds who value a work that captures the purity of an artist's vision above any characteristics of the work itself.

However, the book possesses flaws. These are not flaws of a tender type to be cherished by an attentive lover. On the contrary, these flaws could be exploited by a reader so inclined to serve not only as a disparagement of the work but to malign the author as well. Still, upon reading the novel two decades after it was written and while wholly acknowledging its weaknesses, the author intends to allow it to be published all the same. Why?

There was a human life. This human life endeavored to create this treatise on a wisdom found through process of elimination. The author did not find the strength within himself to consign the fruit of these efforts, however damaged, to oblivion. Let that unenviable task fall to someone else, who can discard it without a second thought.

length: 80,000 words (213 pages in paperback)
written: 1994-February, 1995, Minneapolis, Minnesota
paperback size: 6 in x 9 in
paperback publication date: September 2, 2015
paperback ISBN-13: 978-1517098735
paperback ISBN: 1517098734
ebook publication date: September 4, 2015
ebook ISBN-13: N.A.
poison pie publishing house catalog number: PP-029-N

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