When we first pick up a book, how much buy-in comes from whether or not we actually like it, versus being entirely psychosocially implicated in a culture of reader opinions and college syllabi and corporate marketing tactics and the existence of the Penguin Classics? Is either form of buy-in
The way we most often talk about it desire is an aspect of character. Which is all fine, really, until we slam into those desires so bullish in their insistency that no longer can we play like we own them.
There are stories that break from patterns, and stories that pull so hard at their stitching that they unravel themselves in the process.
When I was twenty and thought I had just about figured out what a story was, my fiction teacher walked me to the oven-sized scanner outside his office to copy onto legal paper the first twelve pages of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son.
An art that constantly changes contour is an art that keeps us free, keeps us questioning and alive.
On quick glance then not much of "Hands" seems overtly experimental—the only oddity is that without George asking and without Wing disclosing, we somehow arrive at Wing's backstory.
It starts with a stroller: pink beams, brown fabric; the whole architecture collapsed into branches and leaf-rot and gritty snow. Five of the six wheels—two dual rears and a single front one—point up like the legs of a submissive dog. The sixth is snug in the dirt.
"The Aleph" by Jorge Luis Borges concerns, along with mirrors and the infinite: the demolition of a house, literary prizes, fragile egos, café lighting, the death of Beatriz Viterbo, and a few terrible stanzas by Carlos Argentino Daneri, a pompous and longwinded academic.
Lore Segal’s “At Whom the Dog Barks” is not so much concerned with cause and effect as it’s concerned with coincidence and pattern. Or perhaps coincidence is the name for cause and effect outside the realm of human perception.
One of the ceaseless joys of narrative, however we try to contain it, is how it bursts through the walls of expectation. The drama's there too in language—its strict rules, its constant bend and flex toward newness.