Sunrise with Seamonsters
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The journeys of Paul Theroux take place not only in exotic, unexpected places of the world but in the thoughts, reading, and emotions of the writer himself. A gathering of people, places, and ideas in fifty glittering pieces of gold.
to you.' He says, 'Forget it.' I says, 'I'm supposed to explain the ropes.' He says, 'I know the ropes.' 'But this is the rules,' I says, 'that I'm supposed to explain the ropes.' 'What rules?' he says, so I say to him, 'Look, kid, pretend I'm your father, okay? Give me a break'!" Over this monologue, the first spokesperson said, "And the most incredible thing is the silence when he serves. Like they know he'll have a tantrum if there's a hiccup or anything. When the other players serve, people
He always scruples to differentiate between characters, and shows us what individuality means. This is not merely a literary exercise or a skillful use of language: it is a belief in human variation. Pritchett is among other things a great appreciator. He is able to tell a great deal about someone in one sentence, as in the story "The Saint"—a serious comedy about a religion somewhat like Christian Science—where the visiting preacher Mr Timberlake is summed up: "He had a pink square head with
painfully infected with social scientism. It has contracted a bad case of what could be called sociologist's foot." I have tried to limit my remarks to patrons of fiction writers, but it is worth mentioning what Neilsen calls the "new patrons". They are three: the consumer public; large business corporations; and government. The National Endowment for the Arts funds have already been reduced by the Reagan administration, but as Neilsen points out, there are worse things than indifference. There
celebrated dream-fiction of all time, Finnegans Wake, a tumultuous obfuscation wherein Joyce's labors only demonstrate that the written word gives us little access to dreams. Language is a thicket: the unpronounceable merely confounds us and turns us away; the thwarted dream becomes nightmare. Defoe suggested a savage exotic, Coleridge wrote the prologue for a lush version, Elizabethan travelers reported on cities of gold and the dramatists they inspired made these cities idyllic; for Milton, the
more affectionate than specific. A brother is just one of the bunch. So it is in my own immediate family. The nucleus is recognizable: Father-Mother-First child. The addition of six more children was a complicating factor, various marriages added more family members, and the acquisition of property complicated things still further. The Tulsis, the Snopeses, the Forsytes begin to make a little sense, and Emma no sense at all. No longer is it a question of a little family in a little house. With