Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Piece of Mop Sitting on an Old Rag

Lee Durkee and I watched the 1969 version of HAMLET, with Marianne Faithfull as Ophelia, and when she came out to do her "mad scene" (pictured) she was all, "They say the owl was a baker's daughter" and I turned and gave Lee a big thumbs up and he laughed resignedly because you know what that means: HAMLET has an owl in it. I looked it up in the facsimile of the Second Quarto that Lee gave me for my birthday and they spell it my favorite way, "Owle," just like John Aubrey. Lee has been reading lots of Flannery O'Connor lately, and - good sport that he is - he sent me this passage from WISE BLOOD: "Over in one corner on the floor of the cage, there was an eye. The eye was in the middle of something that looked like a piece of mop sitting on an old rag. He squinted close to the wire and saw that the piece of mop was an owl with one eye open. It was looking directly at Hazel Motes. 'That ain't nothing but a ole hoot owl,' he moaned."