Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Bookmarkin'! with Jack Pendarvis
"Bookmarkin'! with Jack Pendarvis." It has been almost four years. Sorry! Before we get to bookmarks I want to say that THE DOG OF THE SOUTH by Charles Portis has green Jell-O in it, just like GIDGET: "lime jello - transparent, no bits of fruit in suspension - and peanut-butter cookies with corrugations on top where a fork had been lightly pressed into them. That was our lunch." And I might add that VISIONS OF GERARD by Jack Kerouac, which I am reading for fun, uses "jello" as a VERB. A big coincidence! So Portis and Kerouac make a common noun (or verb) out of it, while only Frederick Kohner, author of GIDGET, bothers to correctly pay tribute to the brand name. Who cares? THE DOG OF THE SOUTH makes me laugh on every single page, instances of which I have been keeping selfishly from you. But perversely I WILL tell you that it has an owl in it - a metaphorical owl again. The narrator describes himself: "my small pointed teeth and my small owl beak and my small gray eyes, mere slits but prodigies of light-gathering and resolving power." And finally, the bookmark: I grabbed by coincidence my glossy photo of M. Emmet Walsh, who not only has a name like that of a Portis character - he LOOKS like a Portis character: specifically Dr. Reo Symes from THE DOG OF THE SOUTH, who, speaking of things that make me laugh, says this in the passage I just read, "The kind of people I know don't have barbecues, Mama. They stand up alone at night in small rooms and eat cold weenies." But I noticed for the first time there is something confrontational about the glare of M. Emmet Walsh, which I see each time I open the book. So a glossy picture of M. Emmett Walsh makes a weird bookmark! That's my advice. This has been "Bookmarkin'! with Jack Pendarvis."