Viola's Speech


Novel Excerpt by James Tadd Adcox

From Does Not Love


Editor's Note: We're pleased to include a "flash" excerpt from James Tadd Adcox's Does Not Love (Curbside Splendor Publishing, 2014) in our Reading Series. The publisher describes the novel as "set in an archly comedic, alternate-reality Indianapolis that is completely overrun by Big Pharma."

"Does Not Love" coverIts main characters are Robert and Viola, whose marriage is falling apart. But in Adcox's novel, miscarriages and job problems are tangled with FBI agents and human test subjects. As writer John McNally says on the Curbside Splendor website:

Not since Don DeLillo’s White Noise has a novel made me feel as though the Earth’s axis has tilted a hair the wrong way.... [Does Not Love] is both deadpan funny and sinister, written in prose that’s cool and crisp: a smart page-turner.

For more about Does Not Love, see the Curbside Splendor Publishing page.

"Sunset Point Park at Night" © Jeff S. PhotoArt; Creative Commons licenseViola stands and walks off toward the little wood on the edge of their property. She stands between the trees and turns to face Robert. Moonlight illuminates her face. “The laws of physics work equally well in both directions; what we interpret as entropy is, perhaps, only our preference for one state of matter over another. When you and I were first married, there was a great sense of possibility in the world. We were in love with this possibility, as much as we were in love with each other. Which is to say: we did not know what was to come. Perhaps we still would have married each other, if we knew what was to come. Perhaps we would have married each other in any case. Contemporary science teaches us that all moments in time exist simultaneously. It is imaginable that some other beings, beings greater than us, could look across points in time the way we look across points in space. For such a being, the idea of loss would be unimaginable. For us, however....” Viola gestures, as if trying to capture something with her hand that she could not quite fit into words. After a moment she walks back and resumes her seat on the porch.

That night Viola sleeps fitfully. Robert keeps having to wake her up to get her to stop flinging her limbs all over the place.


Art Information

James Tadd Adcox; photo credit: Jacob S. KnabbJames Tadd Adcox is the author of Does Not Love, a novel (Curbside Splendor Publishing), and The Map of the System of Human Knowledge, a collection of stories (PANK/Tiny Hardcore Press). He lives in Chicago.

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