Sunday, August 14, 2011

An Excavation

During a former life, Rick Kennedy often urged me to the "will to coherence," as I age a little less than gracefully, I sense a being bereft. Writing is a trial for me now. I lack the bile to riff and spit. I will forever be exiled from Jamesean sentences, that will always be an awareness.

Yesterday I completed Light Out For The Territory and I must admit to being overripe per Mr. Sinclair. 1000 pages in a few weeks will sate most curiosity. The recent unrest underscored a number of his pithy observations. It would only be gauche to elaborate. A few hefty challenges remain in my inbox. I have suffered a few problems with Our Mutual Friend, namely the obvious nod to being paid by the line. Having familiars address each other with full names fifteen times in a conversation is a personal issue for me. No, I don't tweet nor have i sent more than a half dozen text messages in my life.

Vollmann's Argall represents a different challenge. The page itself can hardly contain the erudition which erupts. It is unfair to compare, but John Sayles' A Moment In The Sun, for all its breadth, was essentially a rather linear tale with structured emotional overlap. Vollmann, conversely, interrogates the reader, the Western historical tradition and the foundations of narrative ethos. His postmodernism (horror, horror) doesn't strike one as continental, instead, it recalls Pynchon, in the sense of while challenging/questioning the Imagined Communities of the Homeric Project, one should always seek out a pint for one's trouble.


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