A new first for my blog…B.F. Späth reached out to me and sent me his book, THE SUN TEMPLE, and asked for me to review it. This is the result of that agreement and my review of Späth’s trippy, dreamscape of a narrative follows.
THE SUN TEMPLE follows a narrator who navigates the streets of an older New York City, than the one we know, all while imbibing cannabis, which is considered a holy part of his worship of the sun. His quest twists and and turns down the city’s streets and down into his confused, questioning heart. His thoughts are often scattered, re-forming, to only morph again as he narrates whatever latest thought sparks his mind. Majestic, magical cities from bygone ages rise up and surround him as he is immersed in ecstatic tension. The religious reverence that our narrator endows on the sun, the city, and hemp will strike the reader as both wondrous and an enigma.
Things begin to go wrong, when our narrator’s health deteriorates and he consumes a tainted sacrament. The visions and waking dreamscapes become distorted, terrifying and the question of our narrator’s sanity becomes more of a question rather than a granted truth. Our concern for the narrator drives the reader forward, through apocalypse, delirium, and catharsis.
Späth does little to guide the reader through this narrative. The prose is experimental, fragmented, prophetic as his words flow like water over the page. It’s a stream of conscious novel at some points, while also being a deconstruction of them. In some ways, this novel is very much a product of the post-modern period and in many ways a perfect example of the styles of those modern/post-modern writers. The immersion of being in New York is tangible and real, despite the haze the narrator finds himself in. The streets come alive and the reader can feel the concrete underneath their feet as the large glass towers overshadow them.
While, the story itself is not so much a plotted novel by any means, this is an exploration of self. An exploration of literary form as Späth strives to push to the limits of what a narrator can do, while also commenting on cities, religion, subconscious, and partaking in hashish. An exploration of both the literal city of New York and the figurative city that enfolds all of humanity inside it.
If experimental, slipstream-esque, post-modern literature is something that intrigues you, I encourage you to pick up Späth’s book and enter THE SUN TEMPLE.