Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


This Way for the Gass, Ladies and Gentlemen

Still in The Tunnel. My initial throwaway comment (i.e., "a small prick of conscience") a bit too champing, too little play in too much play ('ludere' basis for allude, illude, elude, delude -- but the sense is mocking). Locally the writing is rich, but difficult (for its own sake), layered and intercut, larded with distractions (and throwaways) that undermine the whole. Historiographical Holocaustic ruminations have been better handled elsewhere:
"I am having difficulty gaining traction with Gass' The Tunnel. Seems like a lot of flash & trash on themes better handled by Boris Pekić in How to Quiet a Vampire."
-- my comment at Long-Sunday ...
Then, Gass, within the next few pages:
"Oh, gentlemen, it has been Sunday in our country far too long.
Am deutschen Wesen soll die Welt genesen!"

Such worldly intrusions into my reading are not particularly novel, catching chancy connections on my train of thought, however freighted ...

"P[oe] is the most heavyhanded of writers, even when trying to be whimsical (eg. 'Angel of the Odd')."
-- C.Roth comments in "Wrap-Up" below.

Yes, but ... such whimsy proves the rule:

"'After quitting this coast, the beast continued his voyage until we met with a land in which the nature of things seemed reversed -- for we here saw a great lake, at the bottom of which, more than a hundred feet beneath the surface of the water, there flourished in full leaf a forest of tall and luxuriant trees.'"*
* In the year 1790, in the Caraccas during an earthquake a portion of the granite soil sank and left a lake eight hundred yards in diameter, and from eighty to a hundred feet deep. It was a part of the forest of Aripao which sank, and the trees remained green for several months under the water." -- Murray, p. 221
-- The 1002nd Tale of Scheherazade

"It might even begin with a forest in the sea: huge trees like American redwoods, with their roots in the black benthos, and their leaves moving slowly in the blue currents overhead. There it might end as well."
-- JCrowley, "Great Work of Time", in Novelties and Souvenirs (Thanks for the pointer, Mr Waggish. The title refers to Marvell [Horatian Ode]; I'd meant to remark on the stanzaic structural similarity of Auden's September 1, 1939 to The Garden ...)

18.1 addendum: ... or not end (via):

"Underwater logging is possible because many submerged trees and logs are barely affected by their decades of submersion. Lake and river water is often too cold and too deficient in oxygen for decay organisms to survive. [...] Studies of logs raised from Lake Superior show slight color changes, but 'the properties are virtually the same as modern timber,' [...] And although sugars have leached from the Lake Superior logs, this effectively seasons the wood, making it highly desirable for use in musical instruments." Timbre!


Post a Comment

<< Home