1-900-Aural Sex

Nicholson Baker explores the nature of arousal in his dazzling and erotic (but not pornographic) novel Vox

Artists who work on a small scale have traditionally been known as miniaturists. The term has a kind of pat-on-the-head condescension about it, a sense that the miniaturist is forever relegated to the artistic minor leagues.

But just as quantum physicists have revealed that the world inside the atom -- with its whizzing elementary particles and clouds of electrons -- is just as grand as the big, blooming universe outside, artists who construct a magnum opus out of the microscopic have become major-leaguers.

Nicholson Baker is a subatomic physicist of fiction, a quantum suburban Proust. He is a wizard at anatomizing...

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