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Pablo Urbanyi.

Toronto, Williams-Wallace Productions, c1982.
169pp, paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-88795-015-9.

Reviewed by Jaqueline Foerter.

Volume 11 Number 3.
1983 May.

An emigrant from Argentina, Pablo Urbanyi wrote The Nowhere Idea assisted by grants from Canada Council and the Multiculturalism Directorate while a teacher at Ottawa University and the external affairs department. Using as a base the quarrel between two professors, each accusing the other of having stolen his original Idea, he builds a satire of academia and North American lifestyle.

Since a physical battle does not decide the rightful owner of the intangible Idea, the combatants demand that a court of law decide ownership before they will reveal Its substance. Subsequent to the description of the rivals, the colleagues, and the fisticuffs, Urbanyi relates in some detail the events before, during, and after the trial. Conducted by the eccentric Judge of Erewhon (the only judge to accept the challenge), the trial is a vehicle for the hermit judge to decry the shallow, immoral modern world and to mock the plaintiffs before him.

A parody of an academic paper written by a university professor, the footnotes are often longer than the text of the page. In spite of the interruption of the essay-cum-travel journal by footnotes (riddled with allusions from areas as diverse as Arabic proverbs and Einstein's theories) and "dear reader" confidences, the narrative flows amazingly smoothly.

Limited in its interest to senior students and adults interested in an eclectic vision of academia and North American life, it is an Enjoyable Spoof!

Jacqueline Foerter, Brantford C. I. & V. S., Brantford, ON.
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