Cock And Bull – New York Times Review

Michiko Kakutani, September 1999

“His first book to be published in the United States, “Cock & Bull,” consists of two comic novellas, both based on the time-honored theme of metamorphoses. The result, however, owes less to Ovid or Kafka than to William Burroughs and scores of naughty schoolboys caught snickering in the lavatory about sex and bodily functions.

Just what sort of metamorphosis occurs in “Cock & Bull”? To put it bluntly, the first story features a woman who sprouts a penis; the second concerns a man who grows a vagina behind his knee. What is the point of these peculiar transformations? Presumably Mr. Self intends to satirize a “world in which social and sexual characteristics were already being tossed and dressed like salad,” a world in which politically correct graduate students drone on about “phallocentrism” and “waitrons,” a world in which women try to run with wolves and men are told to find their inner children. “”

Read the full review