Men in the dark.

Posted in Flotsam by George Slade on July 20, 2010

Hey, Les.

Long time no scribble. Pardonnez moi, svp. Many changes in my life over the past few months.

I’ve found a new cave. It’s near the water, not too high up, high ceilings (can you say “cathedral”?). Northern exposure, and in a bit of a valley, so there’s not too much direct sun. But that’s jake with me.

I was reading Paul Auster again. I know, I know. But the title—Man in the Dark—spoke to me. I won’t labor the narrative details, but it’s about a man divided between two worlds, two ways of life. One was prompted by recollections of violence, a race riot, about which the narrator says the following:

That was my war. Not a real war, perhaps, but once you witness violence on that scale, it isn’t difficult to imagine something worse, and once your mind is capable of doing that, you understand that the worst possibilities of the imagination are the country you live in. Just think if, and chances are it will happen.

The country we live in is comprised of the worst possibilities of our imagination. Now, that’s a thought to either keep us hunkered down in our dark spaces, or make us confront the darkness to dispel it while denying the abyss, the Mariana Trench of our imaginations. Which way do we go?


OG (forgot how to sign my name, it’s been so long)

8 Responses

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  1. Jimmy said, on July 20, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window One can see the way of heaven. The further one goes The less one knows.
    Lao Tzu

  2. Sarcastro said, on July 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Whoa. A Paul Auster novel about living in two worlds.

    • osagegelder said, on July 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm

      Thanks Jimmy. The universe in a grain of sand, bro. Lao Tzu, and Emily Dickinson, and god knows how many others grasp the glory of the interior landscape.

      The arts and sciences,
      and a thousand appliances
      the wind that blows
      is all that any body knows.

      And we’re back to H.D. Thoreau and his circle yet again. Round and round we go. Don’t give up, Charles; the circular journey is still motion. And no circle is perfect. Thanks for reading, I’m glad we can gratify.

      OG (or, to Sarcastro, “oh, gee!”)

      BTW, Les, The Moviegoer is miraculous. Goes right to the vacuum at the heart of New Orleans, the force that sucks your soul away, and it ain’t Anne Rice’s Lestat who’s running it. Percy mines the bitter ballast of those rolling good times in a hallucinatory book.

  3. Lester B. Morrison said, on July 20, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Osage, welcome back.

    You know me, I’m all for hunkering down in the darkness – if not a cave then at least a cool movie theater.

    In this review of Man in the Dark in The Independent, there is a reference to Walker Percy’s novel, The Moviegoer. This got me to pick up the book and track down this gem:

    Now in the thirty-first year of my dark pilgrimage on this earth and knowing less than I ever knew before, having learned only to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies—my only talent—smelling merde from every quarter, living in fact in the very century of merde, the great shithouse of scientific humanism where needs are satisfied, everyone becomes an anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle, and one hundred percent of people are humanists and ninety-eight percent believe in God, and men are dead, dead, dead; and the malaise has settled like a fall-out and what people really fear is not that the bomb will fall but that the bomb will not fall—on this my thirtieth birthday, I know nothing and there is nothing to do but fall prey to desire. Nothing remains but desire, and desire comes howling down Elysian Fields like a mistral.

    Which way to go, indeed.

  4. Charles Spring said, on July 21, 2010 at 12:46 am

    So good to have Osage and Lester back. This thing ain’t worth reading without ’em. An exchange of literary quotes is a good restart.
    I realize that you gentlemen would rather repose and ponder in the moist dark womb of the cave but some of us, like August Brill, don’t sleep. There’s always the fear of a stone left unturned. Can’t have that. In fact, I have recently abandoned refuge and find myself lost in the elements. There never was a map so the journey is taxing. Then again there’s the annoying little fact that there’s nowhere to go, just an intense craving for self gratification, the only refuge I have left.
    Regardless, it’s just damn good to hear from y’all again.

  5. bob black said, on July 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    yo, Osage, Lester, Alec…

    thinking of u cat’s last week when i saw a doc on this area….a place in Atalia where the ENTIRE village lives in caves…called ghost homes…and i thought, fuck, gotta tell LBM staff about it…maybe that’s where Osage has been?…

    they’re located in Cappadoia…Turkey

    a perfect place for a honeymoon for LBMers…


    p.s. love Percy…and as for auster (have read most of his stuff), prefer ‘the invention of solitude’…but ny triology, leviathan and book of illusions aint bad :))

    • osagegelder said, on July 23, 2010 at 5:59 am

      Les and I visited Cappadocia once. Or did we just imagine it? Thanks for thinking of us, Bob.

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