And this, my brothers and sisters,
is how I ended up with one of the ladies
from my mother’s book club:
I was home from school for the summer,
taking a break from mowing the lawn
to get a glass of cold milk from the fridge.
I went in to the living room
to see if there were any snacks left,
just as the circle was just breaking up,
and found two women talking
as my mother showed three others
to the door. And then there was one.
“Well the horses might be pretty,
but the goddamn book is beautiful,”
she said, waiving the book like a pennant.
“Have you read it?” I took a bite
from a biscuit and said, “Uh … no.”
Took a sip of milk. Gulped.
“You probably spend all your time
chasing pretty girls, don’t you?”
“Uh …” Before I could finish she said,
“Won’t have much luck with that mustache,”
and after wiping the white from my lip
… today was like one of those fly dreams …
with her thumb, then licked it clean.
The composition of vast books is a laborious and impoverishing extravagance. To go on for five hundred pages developing an idea whose perfect oral exposition is possible in a few minutes! A better course of procedure is to pretend that these books already exist, and then to offer a résumé, a commentary. […] More reasonable, more inept, more indolent [than other authors], I have preferred to write notes upon imaginary books.
— Jorge Luis Borges, preface to The Garden of Forking Paths, in Ficciones (New York: Grove Press, 1962), 15-16.
See also the Cubeland Mystic’s notes for an imaginary movie:
How about a two man movie? It could be called, Matthew, JOB, and Bourbon. You sit out on Matthew’s patio drink and discuss important stuff, but with a twist. The session turns into a discussion about the perfect movie, and then as the screenplay develops amidst shots, your dialogue would be interspersed with the actual scenes from the finished product that you are developing on the fly. It ends with the sun coming up over La Mesa. The last scene of the movie is Mrs. L picking up the empty bottle of bourbon throwing it in the trash, and saying something like “I wish they’d do some real work.” or some such. That’s the whole movie.
Let’s write it, right here in this post.
Surfing with Mel (the movie) will be Lickona’s potato salad.
Friend of Korrektiv (if only because we consider ourselves friends with her) Professor Jessica Hooten Wilson is teaching in Prague, or has recently. Flannery O’Connor! Walker Percy! For the latter, see also here.
Thanks to WDRT.
(Listen at about the 2:20 mark.)
All manner of things went well for the sendoff last night of Aust(ral)ian bro-in-lo back to Upsidedownland (“What do you call someone from Down Under who has a suntan from Down Under?” “Aussie Ozburned”).
In what was a third go around on this sumptious recipe, my sister-in-law Lady Wellington outdid herself – and thanks to the help of my other sister-in-law Lady Duxelles with just the right balance of moist and dry, these two and a third (not pictured – it still had another ten minutes in the oven) were just about as good as could exceed expectations.
Accompanying this beef’s rich pageant, my brother-in-law, the Duke of Hollandaise, added his pedigree to the work of my wife, Mistress Broccoli. And it was all was washed down with a tarry fruity cabernet sauvignon brought to the table by yours truly, the Earl of Carnivor – along with another in honor of my other other sister-in-law Lady Middlesister – who could not be present for the occasion. Brother in law Sir Mashalot also couldn’t be there, although his presence was evoked in spud-acular fashion.
After a reading and buttering of the royal rolls, all and sundry set to for a repast that present generations will be savoring long into the future…
“Funny, bourbon does for me not what Proust’s madeleine did for him, but rather what I suspect bourbon actually did for Walker Percy…and Norman Mailer, William Faulkner, Janis Joplin, Ulysses S. Grant and every other bourbon drinker right on back to that seminal moment, lost in the mists of time, when some nameless Scotch-Irish frontiersman far out in the untracked wilderness of Kan-Tuck-Kee discovered that Indian corn worked as well for distilling as barley: it gets me drunk.”
— Aaron Walton, getting perhaps just a touch reductive in the comments section of this piece on the “real” American character of bourbon whiskey over at The New Yorker. Which reminds me, I’ve got a bit on Percy and bourbon sitting unfinished on the old hard drive, back from the time Potter and Jobe and I crashed the opening ceremonies at the Walker Percy Center for Writing & Publishing…