Little Follies Cover


THE STATIC OF THE SPHERES is included in LITTLE FOLLIES. However, it is also available on its own as a pocket-size paperback.

  The Babbington Press (2008)
76 pages
4.25 inches by 6.88 inches
$ 10.95

DIGITAL EDITIONS   Kindle $ 1.99
iBooks $ 1.99
Nook $ 1.99


Apple-Wood Books, 1982
Warner Books, 1986
The Babbington Press, 2008



The Static of the Spheres

Peter Leroy

Leroy recalls his maternal grandfather’s attempt to build a shortwave radio, a project that begins with an article in Impractical Craftsman magazine promising "hour after interminable hour of baffling precision work." After many, many hours spent watching his grandfather labor at his basement workbench, Peter at last gets to put the earphones on, flip the switch, and twiddle the dials. Through the crackling and sussurous static he detects the sounds of love and lust, joy and sorrow, hope and loss.

Reviewing Little Follies in The New Yorker, Anna Shapiro wrote:

Baroque as the narration is, poking in several directions at once, it is always moving forward, in a way that both reflects and exemplifies the passage of time. The stories are Proustian in intent, if not in style . . . a deceptively modest attempt to render the very substance of experience in its smallest, stop-action increments. . . .

Both the modesty and the seriousness of purpose are encapsulated in a three-page essay, in [The Static of the Spheres,] on the nature of time and the making of toast. Peter extolls an appliance of his grandmother’s that conveys bread slices in ”rhythmic rightward shuffle” progressing toward toast:

From a very early age, I loved watching — and listening to — the operation of this toaster. As the toaster operated, it produced a repetitive sound from somewhere inside the machine, from the scraping of some parts against others, a sound that I interpreted as words, the words Annie ate her radiator, repeated over and over while the bread toasted. I would sit and watch and listen to the toaster and watch the bread through the little window and try to decide where in its passage from left to right it became toast. And from that toaster I learned to think of time as a belt, to think of being as being in transit, and I laid the groundwork for a persistent nostalgic affection for the wave theory of electromagnetic radiation and round-faced watches and slide rules, and I developed a sense of time's passing.

My Mother Takes a Tumble


Little Follies

The Peronal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy

Copyright © 2008 by Eric Kraft. All rights reserved. Photograph by Eric Kraft.