Sunday, January 05, 2014
The Owl "Who" Wasn't There
Now that I have had almost three cups of coffee I have the energy to tell you about reading another book with an owl in it - you know how extremely tired I am of every book having an owl in it. It used to be a fun parlor game, "spotting the owl," but now every owl is just a punch in the gut. Gee if there were something a little off about my mind I could really have a nice-sized breakdown right now, like, WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT PUTTING OWLS IN EVERY BOOK? (See also.) But I'm normal, ha ha! Normal, I tell you! Finished THE GO-BETWEEN ("you insular owl" was handed out as an insult from one character to another) and grabbed some de Maupassant stories off the shelf. My buddy Jim Whorton recommended them many years ago. I cracked open the book at random to a story called "A Woman's Confession." A ha! Sounds spicy! So I dug right in and came quickly upon an owl. Or rather there wasn't an owl. If I may quote the translator, "in the deep gloom which weighed upon the world not even the hoot of an owl could be heard." Now, I am sure there is some famous philosophical or mathematical argument about proving a thing by its absence - and isn't there a "dog that didn't bark" in Sherlock Holmes? - so I am going to spend the rest of my life thinking about why a book that specifically says there is no owl in it is for that reason a book with an owl in it. Goodbye forever.