The Facts of Winter (Paul La Farge)


The Facts of Winter is one of the best books I’ve recently read. Written by Paul La Farge (pretending to translate poems by fictional French poet Paul Poissel), it’s a collection of extremely short chapters that are supposed to be poems describing dreams. Well, they certainly accomplish their mission: I haven’t read anything that so accurately captures the spirit of dreams before.

Each dream is an enchanting (and sometimes humorous, disturbing, or fascinating) glimpse into a character’s mind — although I’m not sure how much they can be considered “characters” since they are actually just names given to dreamers so the dreams have someone concrete to belong to. I was reading this book while staying in a large cabin with a group of friends, and I found the dreams to be rather delightful when read aloud to friends. This was a fun and quick read that most people would probably enjoy.

GOOD FOR:  People who love dreaming, fans of McSweeney’s publications, and anyone interested in an unusual and captivating read.

BAD FOR:  People who want a cohesive plot, readers looking for answers, those who don’t enjoy others’ musings.

GOOD WITH:  Hector and the Search for Happiness, The Little Prince, and The Lover’s Dictionary.

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