Thursday, January 25, 2007


Warning: This "post" will break every rule that I've ever established for the "blog." First of all, there is some "raciness" involved! Next, I will be talking once more about "what I've been reading." Finally, a woman with a cigarette holder figures into it. Yes, I have abandoned my standards. Yet when you read the content, I believe you will sympathize with my need to "push" the "envelope." Imagine my surprise when, on page 81 of OLD SCHOOL by Tobias Wolff, we find Ayn Rand (who is a character in the book) twisting a cigarette "into a long black holder." And then comes the "racy" part! "She wore a black suit with a short skirt that rode up her thighs. She had nice legs for a woman so squarely built." The reason I mention those two sentences: They could be straight out of HAM ON RYE (see the previous "post" on the subject). They express, in fact, a major theme of that work! How many times this EXACT scene plays out in HAM ON RYE, though never with Ayn Rand as a character. It did occur to me, however (and here I dig myself in deeper, blathering on and on about "what I've been reading"), that as different as the two books are, OLD SCHOOL and HAM ON RYE could each be described with accuracy as "a period piece about a schoolboy and would be writer who loves Hemingway." Okay, after I finish OLD SCHOOL, you will never hear from me on the subject of "what I'm reading" again! I don't feel too bad about my slight cigarette holder heresy, however. If we did it for Phyllis Diller, I guess we can do it for Ayn Rand, though I MUCH prefer the work of Phyllis Diller.