Every last sentence in 'The Autumn of the Patriarch' offers a heroic demonstration of man's triumph over language -- unless it is language's triumph over man. The sentences begin in one person's voice and conclude in someone else's, or change their subject halfway through, or wander across the centuries, and, even so, conform sufficiently to the rules of rhetoric to carry you along. To read is to gasp. You want to break into applause at the shape and grandeur of those sentences, not to mention their length. And yet to do so you would need to set down the book, which cannot be done, owing to the fact that, just when the impulse to clap your hands has become irresistible, the sentence you are reading has begun to round a corner, and you have no alternative but to clutch onto the book as if steering a car that has veered out of control.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wow, look at Paul Berman, writing about Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the New York Times Book Review:
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
So, I just got home from this motorcycle trip. Some of you may have heard. Two weeks, Portland, Oregon, to Knoxville, Tennessee, on bikes that all had to be smaller than 500cc's, less than $500 and 1975 or older. The trip was (among other things) an amazing demonstration of the possibilities of organized chaos. There were twelve of us who went. All mechanics (except me). It wasn't a motorcycle ride so much as a problem-solving exercise. It was also a total blast. I can't wait to do it again! One night I started the campfire with a roman candle. Those things don't aim too well, so I also accidentally lit a guy's bike on fire. He was going to burn it anyway on arrival but we were still two days out of Knoxville.... I drank moonshine in two flavors, got tattooed all over, took one shower in two weeks, and earned a police escort into my campsite one night.
All together we rode about 3400 miles. Some of the scenery we encountered was pretty spectacular.
For anyone confused by the whole idea, here's a taste. There are two other segments posted, all recorded by Nathan, who shortly afterward took Patrick's DT out into the field and used it in anger, much to Patrick's delight.
I'll put up more photos soon, and will write further about this whole adventure, hopefully for money. Meanwhile, go back up there and watch that video again. That's good stuff right there.