On the Heroism of Mortals
On the Heroism of Mortals
ON THE HEROISM OF MORTALS
by Allan Cameron
Dimensions: 210 x 140 x 13 mm
Publication: 9 January 2013
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This is a collection of eleven short stories whose common theme is the heroism of our flawed lives. It explores the arduousness of people’s lives and covers such diverse subjects as human solidarity, generational change, single parenthood, domestic violence, the tragic complexity of revolution, police brutality, artistic hubris, and the limitations of rationalism.
In “The Hat”, a polish Jew on the run in Eastern Europe goes down to a town in search for food and, noticing the large number of German soldiers on patrol, hides himself in a funeral procession. But he stands out as the only mourner without a hat. As he walks along, another man places his hat on the fugitive’s head: an example of man’s humanity to man.
In “Living with the Polish Count”, the young Soviet Republic struggles to keep foreign and reactionary forces at bay and in so doing loses the morality that initially inspired them.
In “The Selfish Geneticist”, lunch in a smart restaurant exposes the rift between two academics, both dogmatic and contemptuous of others, but one more strictly rational and the other more influenced by his human emotions.
"In this quirky collection of short stories, Allan Cameron encapsulates radical ideas and challenging parts of theory in a very logical and often beautiful way. At first you are struck by the very personal and frank tone of the collection. Readers find themselves immersed in closely observed stories of heartbreak, art, anti-capitalism, history and politics.
"The collection makes for addictive reading. Some are comical, others more serious, but there is something for every mood and every reader. These stories are of real life, of the tiny details that make up the whole. Endlessly inventive, Cameron has a number of novels that are critically acclaimed, but it is this eclectic collection that shows his true wit, warmth and complexity as a writer." — Ellie May, Socialist Review
"Sometimes the views are so extreme that they are held by a minority of one, like the man who poses as a statue in Glasgow city centre but, far from being a simple street performer, believes he's the harbinger of a new age. We could all more or less agree he's insane, but what about the narrator of the opening story, who presents himself as the author of the book we're about to read? He's an outsider, certainly, but mad? Where do we draw the line between mere difference of opinion and complete detachment from reality? On the Heroism Of Mortals is buzzing with questions like these, a stimulating, restlessly intelligent collection." — Alastair Mabbott, The Herald Scotland