Steve Himmer’s new novel THE BEE-LOUD GLADE is a fascinating crossroads in American Literature, merging elements of classic transcendentalism and postmodernist pastoral. The riddles of solitude and originality are at the heart of this absurdist tale of secular faith and natural apostasy.
The crucial figures of this absurdist tale are Mr. Finch, a Melvillian isolato, and his odd, deistic employer, Mr. Crane. The drama is not so much a conflict along narrative lines as it is an exploration of the space between idealism and practice, the quarrelsome details separating concept from realization.
After entering into an agreement to live as a decorative hermit at the pleasure (and whim) of the inscrutable Crane, Finch delves into truly comprehending the grace of the human experience. The many allegorical adventures on the strange billionare’s estate underscore Finch’s movement away from recognizable society and towards a factual but fulfilling relationship to his environment. The artificial is subsumed by the necessary, driving Finch towards a clearer understanding of what it means to toil in a world of others.
Himmer’s prose is direct and efficient, presenting existential vagaries in strikingly concrete terms. The reading experience is wholly rewarding and terribly exciting. The vision of this writer is important and demands admiration.
The novel is available from Atticus Books