Dwindling is a virtuoso work by the author of more than a hundred acclaimed works of fiction, drama, poetry, and translation. In this remarkable novel, David R. Slavitt is simultaneously critic and novelist, ringmaster and clown. He begins his discursive performance with the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa and Pessoa’s literary avatar Bernardo Soares, the mild-mannered accountant who Pessoa pretends wrote an infamous “factless biography” called The Book of Disquiet. As Slavitt continues to peel back layers of reality and imagination, fact and fabrication, we encounter the Nobel Prize-winning novelist José Saramago, the nihilism of the lobotomist António Egas Moniz, a wooden chicken, baseball games, good and evil, truth and lies, and the beating heart at the center of all our stories.
by David R. Slavitt