Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Reminiscent Saucer Intimations
also reading THE SUNDIAL by Shirley Jackson. I'm sure you recall my sound advice to have a small book and a large book going at all times. Today I was reading THE SUNDIAL and I thought, "This reminds me of Charles Portis." I was thinking particularly of MASTERS OF ATLANTIS. And then I thought, "I wonder if anyone has ever compared the works of Shirley Jackson and Charles Portis." Yeah, that's right, I think a lot of things you don't care about. I seem to recall that Jonathan Lethem, in his introduction to WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE, compares Jackson's narrator Merricat Blackwood to TRUE GRIT's Mattie Ross. As I was thinking all these interesting thoughts I turned the page and SUDDENLY there were intimations of flying saucers reminiscent of Mr. Portis's novel GRINGOS. Here's some dialogue: "Once that saucer with your name on it leaves, it's gone. And remember, they won't take you if you're wearing metal or been indulging in fancy wines." This leads another of Ms. Jackson's characters to respond: "I am sorry, but I am afraid that we will not be able to qualify for your space ship. I myself cannot do without my fancy wines."