Chimera Song Mosaic
Monday, September 27, 2004
There is some collusion evidenced in the two books I am reading:
"Also . . . there ought to be one place you thought about and knew about and maybe longed for --but never did get to see." --"The Bear Came Over the Mountain," Alice Munro
"It was not enough to have / The very thing you love / / Just for an attendant while, not even in that place / / Where you could not stand / To be civilized."
--"Another Night in Khartoum," from Trouble in Mind, by Lucie Brock-Broido
And now I can shut both those books. If anyone's wondering where I am, it's just the semester, my number one excuse. This is not written for my own benefit (or is it?) but for others who might wonder why I am so nontalkative these days. The first one was for me. Now I can shut these books. And open this one:
"Grandpa-uncle caught a great rui fish that sent up sprays of rainbow water as it leaped and thrashed at the end of his line. When he cut its stomach open, there was a silver ring inside. Grandpa-uncle didn't say anything, but I could tell that even he was excited." --"The Bats," from Arranged Marriage, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
I'm practically addicted to short story collections right now, and between this and Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, there was After the Quake, by Haruki Murakami, with meticulous, yet impressionistic characterization. Even so, my group is reading Wittgenstein's Mistress for discussion next week, so there's so much to excerpt (really, one should read the book), much of the beginning landscape cannily tracing my same travels through parts of Europe and Asia, a story about Rembrandt's students painting lifelike coins on the studio floor to fool their master's eye (he would bend to pick them up--this story reminds me of the story about the fish with the ring in his belly), and this, too:
"Once, I had a dream of fame.
Generally, even then, I was lonely.
Later today I will possibly masturbate."
--Wittgenstein's Mistress, David Markson