I have to stop reading for a moment.
I am tackling once again after a long hiatus The Interrogative Mood, by Padgett Powell, a marvelous little novel (?) that consists of nothing but questions. To wit:
“If you had enough money to live on, could you see yourself retiring to a small village in France and never being heard of or from again, and not speaking French when there, mostly because you can’t, but also because you have nothing to say and you’d have no one to say it to if you had something to say, and mostly just sleeping in your quaint medieval stone cottage? Could you make do with a little exercise once in a while and a piece of Beaufort of very high quality? And maybe a look-in on the pigs? What if the cartoonist R. Crumb were your neighbor?”
And that’s where I had to stop reading.
I am in Beaufort, SC, and the Writer’s Almanac email this morning heralded R. Crumb’s birthday, noting that he had retired to a chateau in France.
This kind of thing happens to me all the time, and it’s unnerving. Usually it’s with the crossword puzzle: this morning I read that Slawomir Mrozek, the Czech playwright had died, and I mentioned it to my lovely first wife, who was doing the crossword puzzle. I reminded her of the the production of The Cuttlefish for which we had had to work on costumes at UGA—I was mistaken: Cuttlefish was by Witkiewicz—and she immediately said, “The clue I’m looking at is ‘cuttlefish kin.'”