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Slovenian goulash.

Don't Kill Anyone, I Love You * By Gojmir Polajnar, translated by Aaron Gillies * Spuyten Duyvil, $12

Don't Kill Anyone, I Love You by the emerging Slovenian writer Gojmir Polajnar is the kind of self-indulgent mess only a talented writer could produce. Fragmented and plotless, the novel concerns a group of Slovenians--scientists, artists, a few barely distinguishable handsome young men--all connected through their sexual encounters. Polajnar's emphasis on fluid sexuality works: Straight sex segues into gay, rape into eroticism. But his critiques of bureaucracies, such as the "top-secret" Cognitive Institute, fail as satire or anything else--though a visit to the Organization of Women Married to Homosexuals scores through comic understatement.

What makes the novel so maddening is its squandered potential. The author is capable of lovely descriptions of Slovenia's landscape and of composing sexual passages in a bracing style reminiscent of Milan Kundera. But even in the sex scenes Polajnar neglects to rein in his metaphors, which are as various as they are unfortunate. The closest the novel comes to having a center is Dot, a quixotic chanteuse of ambiguous gender who makes for lively reading and suggests what Polajnar might one day achieve with a more disciplined approach.
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Author:Limsky, Drew
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Oct 15, 2002
Words:198
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