The title translates as "Decline and Fall," and is probably the most surreal of the stories in the collection. It is told in flashback by the butler working for a wealthy family. One day, the gardener brings him a report of strange droppings, then of a strange animal that appears to be something like a rabbit or a cat. The chef sees something in the garden and tells the owner. He is told not to worry about it, so ends up quitting. Though the creatures seem harmless, they slowly end up taking over the garden.
This is one of Denevi's metaphorical works and reminds me a bit of Cortazar's "House Taken Over." Though it is established that the creatures do not attack people or animals, the sense of strangeness about them contributes to the atmosphere of the uncanny at work in the story.
Donald Hall (1928-2018)
3 weeks ago