Thin Rising Vapors (book excerpt)

This excerpt is from Seth Rogoff’s second novel Thin Rising Vapors. Published today by Sagging Meniscus Press, it is a richly psychological novel about enduring yet fragile friendship and the allure of nature and faith. His first novel, First, the Raven: A Preface, was published in 2017.

This excerpt includes three chapters:

  • Forward
  • Day One
  • Day Two

Foreword

It has been over six years since I went to Abel’s house in Casco. From that time, the time of his death, the house has belonged to me. Despite this, I haven’t been back there on a single occasion. It’s likely I’ll never return. When I left the house on that morning in late November 2011, I took all of Abel’s papers with me. I had intended to do a thorough study of them to discover something like a deeper truth about my friend’s life. In the weeks and months that followed, I managed to produce an account of my seven days in Casco—to retrace my steps. I could go no further.

Since my initial surge of work during that winter, the massive stacks of Abel’s papers, notebooks, and boxes have remained where I placed them—piled high on the floor of my office in Whitefield Hall, on bookshelves, and crammed in drawers. For sure, the stacks have now and then been knocked over. A breeze has blown some pages around. Coffee has spilled and stained them. Dust gathers everywhere. But they are here with me and form an archive I feel compelled to preserve but cannot bring myself to examine. At some point, who knows when, the time for such an investigation will come. The publication of these tracings is, I hope, the beginning of the process, a beginning that at the same time could very well be an endpoint. I don’t know. I sense, though, that at this moment of disquiet and rising extremism, I cannot keep Abel Prager to myself any longer. His all-too-brief life suggests a type of radical resistance—a perfectly struck note of discord. Such a note of discord has become, for me, part of the general earth song, the likes of which, as you’ll find later on, Henry David Thoreau would hear when the sound of the crickets in the field would fade toward silence.

Ezra Stern
Whitefield Hall
January 1, 2018

~

Day One

It was early morning and still dark when I arrived at Abel’s house. I had driven for close to seven hours through the night to get there. Despite predictions that the first snowstorm of the year was to hit around midnight, I had left the city in a rush, taking nothing with me besides what I was wearing—a pair of old Levis, a white T-shirt, and a gray woolen button-down. Sophia, my wife, had tried to convince me to wait for morning to go. But that wouldn’t do. It was clear to me that I had to leave immediately and get to his house as soon as I could. It felt like the one thing about the situation I knew for sure. Knew—I knew nothing for sure. A lawyer’s letter had arrived at my office earlier in the day saying Abel was gone. That’s all I knew.

The snow had held off during the drive, but as I turned onto the winding and narrow dirt driveway that led from Mayberry Hill Road to the house, sparse flakes started falling gently around me. I got out of the car and lifted my head to let some of the snow gather on my cheeks. The coolness felt good. I hesitated for a moment before unlocking the door and stepping inside. Only moments after I entered, the wind and snow picked up. The blizzard had been trailing right behind me.

There was a total darkness here that didn’t exist in the city, and though I had grown up in a small town in Vermont, I had been in the city for more than two decades. In my quasi-blindness, I groped against the wall for a light switch, found one, and flicked it up. No light came. I took the phone from my pocket, activated the screen’s light, and flashed it around the living room. There was something bordering on criminality in my actions, I considered, as I scanned the walls of the house of my dead friend. The screen of my phone went black. I was suspended once more in the darkness.

With only my phone for light, I moved through the living room and into the kitchen. I rummaged around in some cabinet drawers, finding a package of candles and a book of matches. I lit a few of them and placed them around the room. In the corner of the living room, there was a Franklin stove with two baskets beside it, one empty and one full of old scraps of paper. I grabbed the empty one. In back of the house, beside the door that led from the kitchen, I found firewood stacked against the wall. I gathered some logs and started a fire. Then I moved a candle to the center of the coffee table and sat down in an armchair as the flames inside the stove grew larger and brighter. Soon the stove was giving off good heat. This would have been a perfect moment to share with Abel, like we had in the past—countless campfires of earlier times combined into one towering mnemonic conflagration. But all that was gone now, suddenly lost to an irretrievable past.

How close to and at the same time distant from childhood I felt. Abel had been one of very few people in my life who straddled the line between then and now. With most others from those early years, I had lost touch. The relationship with Abel had been different. Abel had stuck with me and I with Abel, though it had been a long time since we last saw each other. It had been over six years since Abel left the city for this house. Six years. I couldn’t believe it had been so long.

The room was getting warmer, and I went over and stretched out on the sofa, finally allowing my eyes to close. It was nearing four in the morning. There was nothing to do but sleep.

~

Day Two

I woke up with a start, confused by the unfamiliar surroundings. My phone was ringing and I reached over and held it in front of my face. Through the blurriness, I saw that it was Sophia.

“Hey,” I said, “what time is it?”

“It’s already after ten. Where’ve you been? I’ve been up for hours worrying about you. I haven’t been able to get through until now.”

I sat up on the sofa and looked around, trying to dispel the strangeness of the scene. “I’m at the house in Casco. By the time I got here it was too late to call.”

“You should’ve at least sent a message. How was the drive?”

“The drive?” I repeated, as I tried to steady my vision by rubbing my eyes—for some reason it was taking longer than usual to come back to me. “The drive was fine,” I said, “more of a blur than anything else.” I looked out the window. It was still snowing. Gathered on top of my car was a pile of snow at least twelve inches high.

“It’s the largest snowfall in three years,” she said, “and the most snow in one day in November in a century. Can you believe it, before Thanksgiving? The kids are home from school and I’ve taken the day off from work. The city is peaceful; there’s hardly a noise. I’d like to take the kids out, but we don’t have boots yet for Sam. He’s grown out of last year’s pair. With how busy this fall’s been, I hadn’t noticed.”

“It’s been busy,” I agreed. “I’m sorry, Sophia, but I don’t feel like talking now. I’ve got a lot to do in the house. I haven’t even looked around.”

“It’s a terrible thing to die alone like that. It’s such a tragedy.” After a pause, she added, “Just to let you know, we have plans with Ellen and Dave tomorrow evening. You left so quickly I didn’t have time to tell you. Anyway, I’m sure they’d understand if we cancel. And Sam has his first basketball game Saturday afternoon. He really wants you there. Let me know if you think you won’t make it back for it.”

“I’ll make it. I’ll start back tomorrow morning. What time are the plans with Ellen and Dave?”

“Eight. We’re meeting them at the restaurant. Sally is coming at 7:30 to babysit.”

“I’ll be there, and I’ll call you later once I get a handle on things.”

I hung up the phone, leaned back into the sofa, and thought about Ellen and Dave. Ellen was Sophia’s friend from college. She taught English at the Woosley School, a private school for girls on the Upper West Side. Dave, her husband, was a psychologist whose practice was located only a few blocks from my office in Whitefield Hall.

I recalled a lunch I’d had with Dave just days after Abel had quit his job and left the city for Casco. Dave had various theories about why Abel had done it, but in the end summed it up with what seemed to me a rather facile chess metaphor, claiming that Abel was “resigning”—or perhaps he said, “tipping over his king”—instead of “playing out the game.”

I sat up on the sofa and thought about Dave’s notion. I’d met Abel when we were nine years old, during our first summer at camp. From the first day, I had been drawn to him—pulled in by the force of mutual affection, or maybe by a blind desire to be near a greatness of some indeterminable sort. Abel was no star athlete in a camp that glorified physical prowess. He was not a skilled outdoorsman. His sailing, archery, tennis, and swimming were either below average or outright lousy. Abel’s talents were in other, less common, domains. He always played the lead role in our group’s annual play, which would be performed in front of the entire camp sometime in August. He sang beautifully at the camper talent show. I’ll never forget his delivery of Paul Simon’s “The Sound of Silence,” which he sang to Ethan Weiss’s piano accompaniment when we were fourteen. Nor could I forget that the following year, our last, Abel ended the camper talent show with Simon’s “I am a Rock.” I closed my eyes and imagined that young boy with his thin body and black, curly hair standing on stage in the camp’s assembly hall, singing passionately while gazing into the dusty greens and browns of old camp memorabilia: Don’t talk of love, but I’ve heard the words before; it’s sleeping in my memory. Sleeping in memory—yes, this was it, this was the reference to the death of Abel’s mother between that second and third summer at camp. My mother came into my bedroom one February day and sat down on the bed to tell me. The camp director had called with the news.

By the second week of that first summer we were already best friends. Abel had even invented a nickname for me, “Allstar,” which called upon, he told me, the German translation of my last name, Stern, and at the same time evoked my dominance of the group’s baseball games—I was far and away the best player. In addition, the name played on what he called my “fixation” with Major League Baseball’s mid-summer All-Star Game, around which, I admit, orbited the whole pageantry of the sport. Allstar stuck, and I loved it because it came from Abel’s mind, created just for me.

Was Dave right? Was Abel afraid of the endgame, afraid of ultimate defeat? For my whole life, I couldn’t imagine that my talented friend could fail at anything. On the contrary, it seemed as if he had achieved far more than what I thought was possible. During our final year at camp, for example, Abel had written and performed his own one-act, one-character play. It was the story of a fifteen-year-old boy who had been caught doing something forbidden at school and was waiting in a drab antechamber for the assistant principal to call him in and administer his punishment. The play had a bewildering range, from outbursts against the reigning authorities to quiet, self-probing contemplations about life, morality and justice. The entire camp sat spellbound as Abel performed. There was silence when the lights went out and the curtains drew together following the play’s final scene, a scene that still sticks with me two and a half decades later. The play was a triumph, a “huge success,” I said to him later that night. Success continued at the university, where we roomed together for two years and where it seemed like Abel floated through his classes plucking high grades like low-hanging fruit, while I labored over every assignment. Then after college, the jobs leading massively important environmental projects, the books, the international fame. Success defined Abel, I thought, as I gazed at the fire in the Franklin stove. There was nothing in his life that evoked failure, that indicated defeat.

After the third summer at camp, we started to write letters. I wrote at least one letter each month to Abel, and Abel, in turn, responded with typewritten letters, which I’d read—savor—and then carefully deposit—in a sort of ritualistic act—in a special dark-green cardboard box in the bottom drawer of my dresser. To my utter shock, these letters were lost when my parents renovated my bedroom while preparing for the arrival of my sister’s first child. I wondered if Abel had saved my letters—my utterly prosaic letters, or worse, letters in which I tried and, I’m sure, failed to imitate Abel’s easy brilliance, his eloquence and elegance. I wondered whether my letters to Abel had meant as much to Abel as Abel’s letters had to me.

These were questions I could think about after returning home. I had work to do. I needed to get a sense of what had gone on here with Abel’s life, with Abel’s incomprehensible death. It was time to get off the couch and look around.

“Abel. Abel Prager,” I said aloud. I couldn’t believe he was really gone—and in such a fashion. The letter from the lawyer claimed that it had been a suicide, that “Abel had purposefully eaten poisonous mushrooms by the name of Galerina autumnalis,” a common brown-capped fungus, I subsequently discovered by looking online, which grew plentifully throughout the Northeast in wooded areas. I made a short Internet search and couldn’t find a single reported case of suicide by mushroom poisoning, which, it seemed, led to a painful and quite gruesome death. But where did he die? And who found him? And most importantly, why did he do it, if this was indeed what he did? The lawyer’s letter said nothing of this. How could this be reality? This “reality” had nothing in common with the reality I had assumed was real.

I made my way over to use the bathroom. Then, feeling suddenly quite hungry, I went to the kitchen and searched the refrigerator and cabinets, discovering that the house was empty of food. I looked out the window. The snow was easing but still coming down. I explored the entryway, finding a pair of rubber-and-leather boots and a thick jacket. I put them on and went out to inspect the car. My car, a small Honda, made some desperate noises but refused to turn on. The snow, meanwhile, was over a foot and a half deep, in some drifts over two or three feet. Even if the car had started it would not have been powerful enough to force its way back down the path to the road. Prospects of dislodgement seemed dim, as I calculated based on previous shoveling experience—I’d grown up in Vermont after all—that to clear the road by hand would take me a full day at minimum and potentially much longer, assuming that the snow didn’t transform into one giant block of ice. The boots and jacket fit nicely. Abel and I were basically the same size. I had been sturdier than him in youth, but the long years of library and archive work had made me frailer, while rural life must have strengthened my friend.

I saw no choice other than to walk back up Mayberry Hill Road to the small store, which I’d passed the previous night on my way in. I went back inside, found a wool hat and a pair of gloves, and started on my way. It was slow going on the dirt path to the road and even slower on the road. Nonetheless, an hour after I set out, I arrived at the store, a ramshackle wooden construction with a hand-painted sign in black letters (CASCO GENERAL STORE), a porch, and two old-fashioned gas pumps in the parking lot. As I entered, I noticed that the man behind the counter, a stout figure with a graying beard and a red-and-black checked shirt, shot me an odd sidelong glance. I ignored it and made my way among the aisles. My hunger had grown immensely and I couldn’t help but tear open a very large bag of potato chips and devour nearly half of them in a matter of seconds. I loaded the basket with everything that seemed suitable under the circumstances. This included a block of cheese, salami, two loaves of sliced bread, apples, bananas, milk, a small bottle of maple syrup, peanut butter, a package of ground coffee, and a bottle of whiskey. I threw in a box of candles and a few lighters at the end.

“Got everything?” the man asked as I placed the basket on the counter.

“That should do it.”

“Excuse me for asking,” the man said as he quickly punched the prices into the register, “but it’s about your clothes. It seems to me like you’ve got on things belonging to a local resident, a man who recently died. In fact, for a second when you first walked in, I thought you were him.”

I felt a peculiar combination of anxiety and relief. “You’re right,” I said, “these are Abel’s things.”

“Prager. That’s what I thought.”

“I’m a friend of Abel’s. He actually left me the house and land. Abel and I spent summers together at a camp a couple of hours away from here.”

“My condolences for your loss,” the man said. “Here, I know it’s nothing much, but take some of this moose jerky. Made it myself. I’ve got the damn stuff hanging from just about every inch of rafter in my barn, not to mention the boxes of it I’ve got out back in the shop. It’s on the house.” The man took a large fistful of jerky out of a tall glass jar, put it in a paper bag, and stuffed it in among my groceries. “It’ll help keep you warm, nothing like moose meat for that. It’s supposed to get very cold over the next few days.”

“I’ve never eaten moose before.”

“I think you’ll enjoy it.” As he said this, a shout came from the back of the store that a delivery truck was just pulling in and boxes needed to be moved. The man turned up the flap that allowed him to exit the space behind the counter. As he maneuvered his rotund form through the narrow gap, swiveling first this way, then that, he paused and added, “Abel loved the stuff. The moose, I mean. Probably ate more moose jerky than anyone in town.”

I reflected for a moment on this information without knowing how to think of it, to organize it, to frame it within the broader context of Abel’s life and death. Then I said, “Do you know anything about what happened to him?”

“Not much. I bet you know more than we do.”

“But I don’t know anything.”

“Since you ask, there were some things about the situation that surprised me, like that the young lady, one of the Klein girls—can’t remember if it was Leah or Juliet—found the body out back behind the house, in the woods. The Kleins aren’t usually around at this time of year. They’re summer folks. Then there were the packages Mr. Prager sent from the store a few days before he died. We’ve got a postal substation here. The damn thing is like a curse, especially in the summer. We’ve got to hire an extra kid in July and August just to deal with it. Abel sent three or four packages. Not sure why it stuck with me.”

“I see,” I said, trying to think of what to ask next. Questions eluded me. I felt muddled, out of place, both tired and agitated. In addition, I couldn’t shake the man’s reference to Abel as “the body.” Abel had been much more than “body” for me; he was an intellectual, spiritual guide, a force emanating through words and ideas, a mystic sage, a guru. But he was body, too, profoundly so—a young boy in a camp uniform, a swimmer with rib cage jutting out as he took deep breaths in prelude to his dive, a pubescent teen in the communal shower, a thin, bearded man, almost unrecognizable, arriving back from a project in Kazakhstan. Now that body was gone forever, buried without ceremony (according to the lawyer’s letter) next to his parents in the cemetery Beth-El.

“Pardon me,” the man said, “but I need to get to those boxes. The driver’s always damn impatient. If there isn’t space, he’s bound to just drop the new ones in the snow.”

“Sure,” I said and turned to go. Then I stopped. “One thing. Do you know someone who could plow out Abel’s dirt path to the road? My car’s stuck and I think I need a jumpstart.”

“Call the Reynolds boys, Bill and Fred. Card’s on the counter.”

“Thanks,” I said, picking up one of the red cards with blue lettering. “I’ll be leaving in the morning, but I’ll probably be back with my wife and children in the spring.”

“There’s no spring here. Winter slams right into summer in these parts.”

Before leaving the store, I fished around in my pocket and retrieved my phone. It was already nearing noon and I’d done nothing in or around the house. I took the two heavy bags and went outside. The snow had stopped. The clouds had moved away, and a cold sun was gazing down at the winter landscape.

The walk home was even slower going. I had to take care with each step to keep the weight of the bags in perfect balance. By the time I trudged up the path and set the bags down on the kitchen table, I was exhausted. I fixed myself two salami-and-cheese sandwiches and consumed them while still dressed in Abel’s jacket and hat. I finished the open bag of potato chips and reproached myself for not buying another. Sophia didn’t allow potato chips at home, and I had a weakness for them, at times surreptitiously eating a couple of small bags in my office after lunch—minuscule rebellions, useless and pathetic decadences. I drew a few cups of water from the faucet and drank them quickly. I felt calmer and flicked on my phone to call the Reynolds boys. The phone wasn’t getting reception. I added a few logs to the stove and closed it up.

I sat in the chair next to the stove and warmed my feet. For the first time, I let my eyes wander around the living room. The Franklin stove, the room’s most prominent object, was on the half-wall separating the living room from the adjoining kitchen, on a raised platform of blue-gray rock. The wall behind the stove had the rock until about mid-way to the ceiling, at which point it gave way to old wooden wainscoting, once painted white but now a dull shade of yellow. Across from the stove was the outer wall that contained the door and two windows facing the driveway. The wall was painted a pale blue. It was clear from the quality of the color that this had been done long ago. The adjacent exterior wall also contained a window, beyond which pine branches, laden with snow, drooped to within inches of the house. Next to the window, there was a painting of a lake in winter.

“Abel,” I whispered as I turned to the Franklin stove, “Where are you? Where are you in all this?” Maybe, I considered, the trip up here was a big mistake. “What good can it do?” I said aloud. I flicked at the phone and saw that it still had no signal. I grabbed a stick of moose jerky from the bag and ripped off a chunk. The meat was salty and spicy and had a pleasant tangy flavor. Abel, the guy at the store had said, was the biggest moose eater in town. What nonsense!

I decided to go upstairs. I climbed the narrow staircase and continued down a short hallway. There were two rooms on the second floor, one on each side of the house, and a bathroom at the end of the hall, facing the woods. Next to the bathroom was Abel’s office. His bedroom was across the way facing the road. The office had an additional wood-burning stove.

I entered the office and sat down at the desk. Without thinking about it, I pulled open the top-right drawer and discovered that it was crammed with papers. I pushed it shut again. I repeated this with the top-left and again found it completely full. The others were the same. On top of the desk was Abel’s antique Remington typewriter, still in perfect condition. For some reason, I was surprised to see it there. I had long thought of Abel’s retreat—and I did, I realized, always think of it as a retreat—as an attempt to reject those thick layers of the past, and nothing conjured more thoughts of the past than the Remington.

The typewriter had belonged to his grandfather, Herschel Prager, who came to the United States from Vienna and taught Abel German when he was a boy. Stern, star, Allstar, I thought—it all connected to the Remington. Yes, I recalled, as I sat back in Abel’s chair and gazed out the window, Herschel Prager came to New York in the late 1920s. In 1938, he got a job as a European correspondent for Newsweek, which took him first, briefly, to Berlin and then, as the situation deteriorated, to Paris, where he lived until the German invasion.

In Paris, Herschel met and married Vera, Abel’s grandmother. Soon after they arrived in New York, Abel’s father Abraham was born. From a young age, Abraham was driven, serious, and practical. He went to City College and then to work for a bank, where he excelled, moving, within five years, into senior management. By the time Abel started camp, his father was a vice president of New York Merchants Bank. By the final year of camp, he was president and, I assume, a rich man.

Along the way, Abraham married Lillian Blumenthal, Abel’s mother. I knew her from those first two parents’ days at camp before she died. She had wavy black hair, greenish-blue eyes, and a smile at once tender and forlorn. She had a special type of beauty, none of which Abel inherited. Abel was the image of his father, though shorter, smaller, somehow less substantial, less weighted to the earth.

I peered out the window into the woods as the scene started to fade in the afternoon light. The Remington—it was this Remington that Lillian Prager had used to type the letters Abel received every other day at camp. My mother would write letters full of the dullest matters. Lillian, on the other hand, wrote long and poetic letters to her only son. She typed them on rich, creamy paper that held the ink perfectly. They were not scrawled in some intolerable bubbly letters, the likes of which my mother used. Each vowel and consonant seemed to me struck with utter resolution. M. Y. D. E. A. R. E. S. T. A. B. E. L. They were hammered into place, chiseled into the page with a determined love. The Remington held many ghosts—Herschel Prager, Lillian Prager, Abel Prager—and now it belonged to me, left to me with everything else in Abel’s will. Abel was dead. It was on this Remington that he had written to me. Those letters, those words, more than anything else, had shaped my life. For many years, those letters had guided me—they had been my touchstone, my inspiration.

I ran a finger along the top of the Remington. Its austere functionality seemed, at that moment, the height of elegance and dignity. It had one purpose only: to record the thoughts of any person who sat before it. What a far cry from my current machine. My computer seemed built for precisely the opposite reason—to think for me, to interrupt me, to connect me with all that was not myself. Yes, perhaps it had been built precisely to obliterate my selfhood entirely. I took a fresh piece of paper from the stack on my left and loaded it into the Remington. I typed, Dear Abel.

For some reason, alarmed at what I’d done, I rose to my feet. “What am I doing?” I asked myself and ran my hands through my hair. “Nothing good can come of this.” And, I thought, what could I possibly have to say to him now that he was gone—now, after all those years of silence?

The lawyer’s letter had requested that I come to the office on Park Avenue as soon as possible to discuss the totality of the inheritance. Only at this moment, leaning over the Remington, did it dawn on me that this inheritance might go well beyond the house and the land. The letter said that it was Abel’s request that I be sent the keys to the house in the initial note. “You will find them in a small yellow envelope stapled to the back of the letter.” “Abel Prager,” it read, “requested that you be able to access the house without delay.”

These were the words that unsettled me. I had concealed this piece of information from Sophia for some unclear purpose. “Access the house without delay.” There was nothing in the house that seemed to warrant such haste.

These thoughts were confusing me. I had turned forty a few weeks before and had been working long hours to finish my second book—a book, I hoped, that would elevate me to full professor and the peak of my career. I was writing about the Karaite challenge to the rabbinical order in the waning years of the Cordoba Caliphate. It was the story of the greatest internecine struggle in the history of medieval Judaism—a story untold, largely forgotten. As I saw it, it was my last chance to break out of the ordinary ranks of the professorial herd and to join an entirely different group—the community of real scholars, Jewish scholars. If the book succeeded, it could reshape the entire field of medieval Spanish Jewish history. If it failed, I failed, and my career would be doomed to a slow stream of mediocrity for the next thirty years. Success, on the other hand, would bring a flowering of some elusive genius.

For much of my life, I would never have considered pursuing genius. To the contrary, I couldn’t help but feel my mediocrity time and again, especially when I compared myself to Abel. I had succeeded at many things, it’s true, but I’d done so by simply following a path cleared for me. It was a matter of walking straight without diversion—being steady and focused. Abel, on the other hand, blazed a trail that led from New York to the Congo, to Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, Central Asia, and ultimately into the dark, thick woods of Casco.

I turned back to the desk. Six years, I thought, of isolation, of seclusion in the face of mounting disaster and crisis in the world. During these six years, during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial meltdown, Abel had been here. Resigning—I thought again of what Dave had said—instead of playing out the game.

I needed to get a handle on this situation. It would be dark soon and my ability to sort through the papers would be restricted. I sat back down and opened up the top right-hand drawer. I drew out a large stack of papers; all had been typed on the Remington. I began to leaf through them, at first inattentively or even dreamily, until my eyes passed over the title, “First Canoe Ride on Pleasant Lake.” Intrigued, I took the pages from the stack and moved over to the old rocking chair, in the corner by the stove. I didn’t feel like making another fire and instead wrapped my body with the woolen blanket that Abel had draped over the back of the chair. Undoubtedly, Abel used to do the same. The thought pleased me, and I began to read.

 


Seth Rogoff’s novel, Thin Rising Vapors, is available to order online now.

This excerpt appears with permission of Sagging Meniscus Press. Copyright 2018 Seth Rogoff.


About the Author

Seth Rogoff.jpgSeth Rogoff is the author of the novels Thin Rising Vapors (2018) and First, the Raven: A Preface (2017). He is currently working on a collection of fictional lectures, the first of which appeared in Epiphany Magazine (fall/winter 2017), and a non-fiction book on the politics of dream interpretation. He has been a creative writing Fulbright Fellow in Berlin, where he lived for ten years. Since 2015, he has lived with his wife and two children in Prague.

Discover more of Seth Rogoff’s work with Cagibi at his contributor page, such as his story “Lecture #2: Guests at the Hotel des Bains” in  Issue 1, and his short feature in  “A Letter from Špindlerův Mlýn.”

Appears In