I don't read book reviews, never before reading the books, and very rarely even after that. But there have to be exceptions, of course. You know, exceptions, exceptions, of course, those exceptions. Reason thrives on those, and so does irrationality. And we all do, don't we?... Well, anyway... exceptions.
I'm sifting through The New Yorker after a couple of lean days, literature wise, and well, what do you know, there's that name sticking out, noir dripping dagger-style, right in the centre of the slender film of the tender screen, that seven lettered [-------] that conjures up images of paranoid punks, sleazy streets with disappearing roofs, neon signs in forgotten colours and trippy psychedelia crammed into two dimensional black and white. And what happens next? Of course, the exception impulse kicks in, bypassing those hapless neurons waiting for the sinuous mundanity of reason and before you know it, your finger's done all the necessarily involuntary shaking and moving dance moves and in a flash that even time is at a loss to explain, the words stare into you through cunningly deceptive eyes and it's that. It's that.
But no, it's not that. It's not. There is another exception embedded in this exception. You read only the master's quotes, not the words of that simpleton reviewer who is, for now, to be bloodily, and exceptionally hated for being able to get his hands onto those floating, kaleidoscopic heads (=pages) before you could. Yes, I know I do admire Louis Menand, but I'm sure, in this context, or in any other damn context (pardon the language) involving this seven lettered [-------], we'd both agree that we wouldn't give a damn (pardon, again).
There are perfunctory snippets, names splattered on windshields that you don't give a damn (I don't give a damn about the language anymore, please) about, just little chunks of odoured flesh thrown here and there for the carnivore to just smell and move on, meaningless bodies of words strewn about but then, then, then,
"Was it possible, that at every gathering—concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, and freak-in, here, up north, back East, wherever—those dark crews had been busy all along, reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday, all they could sweep up, for the ancient forces of greed and fear?"
And then, then, then, only then does the embittered soul, dragged headfirst through the delirious boulevards of forgotten paranoia, painted in that unforgettable scent of burnt paper, submerged in shapeless shrouds of wicked casuistry, rest at last, at the feet of its faceless, nameless, seven lettered master of luscious, candy-coated apocalypto.
Welcome back, [-------].