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Origin myths are interesting. This is a fact. No need to bicker, there’s no disputing it. Tell me the Hindi cyclical myth of universes created by Brahma only to be destroyed by Shiva, is not at all fascinating and I will know you are quite mad. Coax me into believing the Mayan Popol Vuh diluvian myth, that of the creators causing the vast sea to recede and the solid earth to rise, isn’t at all interesting to learn about and I will resist and resist. Dismiss the fire and ice proto-worlds of the Norse myths as trite trivia and I will simply feel sorry for you.
Well, more like my favorite shirt. A shirt I will wear once a week for 10 years. One that I refuse to let go of, that has stitching resembling crooked scars to patch up the holes and it frays at the edges. One day it will have more homemade stitching than original fabric. It’s comfortable and familiar and I won’t throw it out.
In The Yellow Wallpaper , Charlotte Gilman Perkins first introduced me to the concept of synesthesia, the odd, kinetic sensation of having the senses cross pathways: Being able to ‘feel’ a color, hear images, or smell sounds. Perkins links this strange neurological condition with the protagonist’s ‘hysterical depression’. The character’s exact cause of her synesthetic sensations is debatable.
I, for the record, completely disagree with T.S. Eliot. And Pablo Picasso. The beaten-in-the-ground-so-many-times-it-has-turned-to-powder quote that ‘good artists borrow, great artists steal (actually, it originally reads as ‘immature poets imitate, mature poets steal) has become a catchall excuse for bad imitation. I personally would appreciate some subtlety. A mere nod, or a tip o’ the hat, perhaps, could go a long way.
I picked up Victor Lavalle’s Big Machine and could not put it down. I know, I know, everyone and their mother uses that cliché to describe a great book. But for me, this is few and far between. While I love a well written novel, honestly it’s the first twenty pages that makes or breaks a book for me. If I can’t get into it within that span, chances are I will abandon it and continue my hunt for the next big score. So what hooked me? Fluid, seamless prose.