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Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
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He Said What?

You & Me: A Novel - Padgett Powell

Delightful. An extraordinary sequence of conversations, presumably between the same two men, on any and every topic, seemingly pointless, frequently funny—Wienberger-lite, Markson less the trivia—inviting readers to consider insurance against having the blues, being “altogether here,”  life and death, sensitivity and civilization, the Craigiator, etc.—the usual stuff.


Reading for the sake of reading during those moments where the imposition of a story would be clutter. While this may remind some readers, those “of a certain age,” of conversations, the likes of which haven’t been heard since the sixties, for others it will be that long-neglected, too-often-overlooked conversation with oneself.


To give you a real sense of the book, I’ll laboriously type in the following entry. The entire freakin’ page. Because I care.


Will we be able to cross the river and rest in the shade of the trees, is what I’m wondering.


You mean as opposed to wondering if we should, or if it will occur to us to want to do that, or —


No, I mean, precisely, Will we be able to cross a river and rest in the shade of the trees. I grant that we are too daft to have it occur to us. Perhaps you have not noticed, but the river is a concrete ditch now, usually, if it is not altogether underground, beneath roads, and the trees are an automobile dealership A man would need say today, after his arm is blown off, Let us cross the water-control canal there and repel the salesmen and crawl under the F-150s, where I wish to die.


We are living when before we should not have lived, and now we are dying where we would not have died.


That is almost epitaphic. When he should have not, he lived. Where he should have not, he died.


It will perplex the cemetery goer.


The cemetery goer, in my experience, is already perplexed. I see no harm in keeping him that way. I need some coffee, my friend.


I am in want of recreational drugs, untattered clothes, psychological counsel, carnal affection, a  dog, and a child upon which to lavish trinkets and advice.


I fear for that child.


Not more than I.

What follows is merely random addenda, my own unnecessary additions to a novel already complete in/of itself:




Did you ever find yourself wondering who inserted the entirely unnecessary, extra s in dissolution, rendering it, the word, that much more challenging to find in a dictionary?


No, sir, I did not. I’ll consider it now, though.


Don’t bother.






Why not?


Does it matter?




Sometimes, I think, the intellect lets us down.


Really? Bastard intellect.


Although, to its credit (intellects’s), it may be too considerate let us obsess over it.


Intellect’s the best when it comes to not remembering.

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