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Dispatch: Mississippi Welcome Center, Interstate 10

Truly one of the finest welcome centers in which I’ve had the privilege of spilling hot coffee all over myself.

Closeup:

Comments

  1. Matthew Lickona says:

    TAGGED WITH: SHE’S BACK, MRS. PATTERSON’S FIFTH GRADE CLASS REALLY OUTDID THEMSELVES WITH THIS DISPLAY, IT’S A WONDER MISSISSIPPI DOESN’T COLLAPSE UNDER ITS OWN LITERARY WEIGHT WITH A LINEUP LIKE THAT, WILLIE MORRIS DRANK BOURBON WITH DONNA TARTT, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DONNA TARTT, DID I EVER TELL YOU ABOUT THE TIME I WAS GONNA SET OUT TO FIND AND INTERVIEW DONNA TARTT ABOUT HER CONVERSION TO CATHOLICISM FOR GODSPY, THAT WAS BEFORE GODSPY WENT DORMANT AND I STARTED LEAVING OBSCURE RAMBLING COMMENTS ON THIS HERE BLOG.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

      No, you never did tell us the Donna Tartt/Godspy non-story story. Maybe you could write a book about it.

      Or try to.

    • Are you really gonna tease us with inside Donna Tartt info and then leave us hanging? That’s just cruel. Cough it up, man.

      Expat, glad to see you posting again!

      • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

        Lickona knows the secret history?

        • Matthew Lickona says:

          Everybody who knows me knows I don’t know nothin’. I just have a powerful memory of reading that famous Vanity Fair profile of the twentysomething author whose half-million advance began the mondo advance wars of the ’90s:

          “Donna Tartt seems, in many ways, a figure from another decade: a small, hard-drinking, southern writer, a Catholic convert, witheringly smart, with an occluded past, sadness among the magnolias. Wasn’t that Flannery? Or Carson? Or Truman, or Tennessee? Surely not a figure from the post-MTV generation.”

          …and thinking, waitaminute, howcum nobody in these dread latter days of the neverborn Catholic literary revival is latching onto that bit about a Southern Catholic convert from our very own generation and making hay?

          So when Angelo Matera at Godspy started talking about paying serious money so people could do serious long form journalism with a Catholic bent, I decided that I would talk to Tartt. All I have to show for my decision, of course, is an email from uberagent Binky Urban letting me know that Ms. Tartt was not someone I could get to. No matter, I thought, I’ll just take Godspy’s money and spend it on a month spent poking around the South…

          Of course, nothing came of it. Nothing ever does. I got nothing, Mrs. D.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

      Connexions:

      Nicole Cliffe, ‘”The Secret History”: I Know What You Did Last Reading Period’, The Awl, March 21, 2012

      ‘[W]hat if someone rewrote The Secret History, but replaced Richard with Ignatius J. Reilly? Let that thought settle for a bit.

      ‘Let me burst your bubble right now: they are never going to make a decent movie of The Secret History, so all of the weirdly persistent Tartt-isans can simmer down. You know why? Because it would look super, super nerdy on film. […] Some things just don’t translate well across mediums. Did you read The Lord of the Rings? Do you remember Tom Bombadil and Goldberry? Well, there’s a reason they didn’t make it into the movie. It would have looked stupid. No, The Secret History is a forbidden, nerdy bitch goddess. […]

      ‘I think it’s ridiculous that everyone blabbers on about Donna Tartt fading from the scene and not living up to the potential of her first novel. It’s an incredible, monumental achievement to write one decent novel that everyone likes, for heaven’s sake. Not to mention a decent novel that everyone likes and actually buys. If you manage it, the rest of us should buy you jars of imported lime curd and fan you with palm fronds for the rest of your days. But no, that’s not how it works! Apparently, you get a two-year grace period, and then the vultures start circling you. Maybe John Kennedy Toole had it right. (Joke! Don’t kill yourselves, young novelists. Your unpublished manuscript is not going to be hailed as a triumph by Walker Percy. Better to live.)’

  2. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

    Hot coffee! Are you OK? Do you need a lawyer?

    In any event, thank you for checking in!

  3. Jonathan Webb says:

    This was the best post ever and closest to Potter’s original vision.

    Thanks S.E.

  4. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

    Thank God for Mississippi.
    –Arkansas state motto

  5. Jonathan Webb says:

    That’s the best state motto ever. Are you serious?

  6. Jonathan Webb says:

    I was carrying a camera around for awhile because I see so many weird things around Seattle, something Quin could probably vouch for better than me. Of course the camera broke. Rest stops are such Percyan non-places. Please post more pics from y’all’s roadtrips because they make me very happy.

    Someday, let’s try to get photos of that Jesus, Ghandi, Mother Theresa shrine in Vader.

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