Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Let me explain. I’ve read so-called psychological thrillers which were not the least bit thrilling and whatever psychological relevance the story contained must have been implied in the contextual psychosis (or even psychoses) of the author. Without the thrill or context, I ended up feeling cheated by the promise of both. But in Saving Elijah Dorf has taken a potentially melodramatic (ergo tedious) idea and infused it with something so interesting that the pain of the experience is forced upon the reader with a relentlessness that is undeniable.
When the protagonist, Dinah Rosenberg Galligan, watches the way people avoid looking at her son, Elijah, lying in the coma, the reader understands that urge to look away, to not see something so frightening. I literally sighed tears when Dinah’s friend Becky visits the hospital and places a long and tender kiss on the comatose child’s forehead, aware of the deep compassion such an insignificant gesture suggests.
This is only one layer of the story. Dinah is being haunted by a spirit, an angel or a demon or a ghost. The reader isn’t told clearly and just when you think you know you realize how very wrong you are. Dorf does a brilliant job of shifting the story to meet and yet surprise expectations. Her use of flashbacks is beyond perfection. I don’t know that I’ve ever read an author whose ability to move in and out of past and present is so masterful.
Okay. Perhaps I exaggerate but it’s been a long time. The characters are, for the most part, well developed and realized. My favorites are possibly Ellen Shoenfeld and Dinah. There is something so familiarly tragic about the choices she makes throughout her life. Don’t expect any easy answers. The book begins asking the hard questions about God and the purpose of evil. You know, the questions about which a myriad of books have been and have yet to be written and will never fully realize nor resolve the issues. And that’s okay.
Wow. Talk about stating the obvious. Sheesh!
Rob: I'll have to go online to find one, I guess. Me: I don't know why it's so hard to find the right size. After all, the video iPod is bigger than the nano so people still need to carry their iPod around somehow. Rob: Yeah. I don't know. Me: Of course, if the iPod were on your arm it would be hard to watch the video.
This is a Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kiss. Anyone who likes pumpkin pie anything will loooooove these. Seriously. I am talking addictively yummy and so very rich you can only eat a few which makes it even better. Because a bag will last a looooong time when you can only eat a few at a time.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
They talked about how corny it sounded to say that writing had saved their lives, but also how completely true it was. They talked about how you could use it to give meaning to the worst things in your life. (167)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
remove one layer and the next is there keep peeling, my beloved peeling and chopping putting in the pan fry it to translucency and eat it let it digest it's only been a year and a half since he took your heart from your chest peeled it chopped it fried it ate it spit it out eventually a new one will grow back eventually the tears will stop
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
You work more slowly now. It’s not the years. It’s how the years insist on being kept in mind that tires you. You sit in death’s lap and know it. Year’s back, you imitate Georges Rouault, painting sundowns in the morning. Now you reach For noons at midnight, and they’re gone. But still you reach . . . Beyond your window you can see a pair of helicopters snoop like dragonflies for traffic clots. A bird-chalked general goes on commanding from his rusting saddle. Vapor shimmies from the manhole lids like steam from old volcanoes. You’d love to paint the silence there. Impossible? No more impossible than making maps or sketching nudes. What else are maps but studies in abstraction? Whoever saw the earth from those perspectives? Who christened Europe green and Asia blue? And as for nudes, what are they but complexities of light and lines? You catch the light by paining in the lines. Later you erase the lines. You feel the silence of the street that way. You’ve walked those stones so many times they talk to you. You listen with your heels. If you could solve—if you could only solve that silence with a brush . . . To see is not enough. You’ve seen too much already, and you don’t forget. You even notice how the recto-verso greens of dollars reproduce the tails and heads of maple leaves. Half your life is learning to express that kind of trivial amazement.