[ilds] Gerry and Larry and food and fun

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Mon May 4 01:53:48 PDT 2009


> I laugh more at Gerald's work, but I get a lot more out of Larry's - I 
> move into his world as through a dark crystal, as through a refraction 
> in the atmophere into another cosmology. only really good writers can do 
> that and set it in our time and make it plausable: the slowcoach of a 
> train that leads to Epidarus - or Milos!!

I really like your playfulness here!!  It strikes me as very much in the 
spirit of the original work, whether it's the brindled and tiger striped 
landscape of southern France, the broken crystalline images of of one's 
ontology in northern Corfu (or pacing a train car in the third person), 
or the dreams that live on when dreamers die in Epidarus...

Sorry for the playfulness above, but I think it's actually the main 
point here and is what David was arguing.

I really enjoy Gerry's fun, and he wrote deceptively complex books -- 
ask any children's writer, and you'll know that the simplicity of 
Gerry's books was hard-won and anything but "simple."  Writing clearly 
and casually is not easy.  That said, I can't imagine Gerry driving a 
reader to the kind of repetitive and (awkward notion here) 
textually/linguistically recuperative reading that David demonstrates in 
the paragraph above. Who would be driven to excavate and carry about the 
language of Gerry's images in the way that David did with "dark crystal, 
"refraction," or "slowcoach," then blur them across works?  Gerry's 
prose has a very different purpose, and "depth" isn't the right 
distinction -- I think "haunting" versus "beguiling" might be.  Gerry 
does beguile, but in doing so, he gives up the haunting obsessions.

So, I suppose I'm trying to say that they both wrote books that required 
great effort but to very different purposes.  Gerry is tremendous fun 
and immediately seductive in a way his brother's books never managed to 
achieve even when they tried, but Gerry can't haunt me -- and painful 
literature is really all that *I* remember...  When love is requited, we 
need no poetry -- and when poetry doesn't leave me with a re-opened 
wound, I don't need to read it twice.

There's a wound in Gerry, but it's not in his art -- his life suffered 
more for it.  There's a wound in Larry, and the art always fails to 
close it.  I guess he didn't live so well either.

But, I'm recently back from Mexico, delayed, exhausted, and I'm tempted 
to take up the pig's habit of conversing with spider's, so my exhausted 
ramble must end.  I hope this communicates no swine flu to y'all!!

Best,
James


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