Saturday, January 30, 2021
The Terrors of the Night
I was trying to think of the last time I saw Lee Durkee. First we bought a house and moved away from the town square, so we're no longer walking-distance neighbors with Lee... and then a thing happened where no one can go outside anymore anyway. I guess I last saw Lee at a reading at Square Books in late February for his novel THE LAST TAXI DRIVER. That was just a couple of weeks before we knew that going to readings was deadly! But Lee and I still keep in touch through the occasional email, like the one where he told me I'd like something called THE UNFORTUNATE TRAVELLER by a sixteenth-century writer named Thomas Nashe. Lee knows what I like! So I got out this book that has THE UNFORTUNATE TRAVELLER in it, and the piece right before that is also by Nashe... something called THE TERRORS OF THE NIGHT. So, just to paint you a picture in my expert way, the last page of THE TERRORS OF THE NIGHT is facing the first page of THE UNFORTUNATE TRAVELLER. So on the last page of THE TERRORS OF THE NIGHT, Nashe talks about "those doleful quiristers of the night, the scritch-owl, the nightingale, and croaking frogs." There it was when I opened the book, right in front of my face, proving once again my theory that every great book has an owl in it, if that's what my theory is.