Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine
So begins the courtship of a certain Unguentine to the woman we know only as “Mrs. Unguentine,” the chronicler of their sad, fantastical tale. For forty years, they sail the seas together, alone on a giant land-covered barge of their own devisin ...more
The novel is written in the form of a ship's log, albeit one bereft of dates, times or coordinates. Rather than hard facts, we are presented with the 40-year history of the Unguentine marriage as the couple roams the seven seas aboard a garbage barge. At the start, M ...more
"Plagues of insects we have known, chattering hordes came out of the middle of the night to munch their way across half the garden by dawn and multiply faster than we could shoo them away; and heavy night-flying seabirds which have crashed by the flock into the trees as I have wandered about the barge by can ...more
"Forty years ago I first linked up with Unguentine and we made love on twin-hulled catamarans, sails a-billow, bless the seas... So begins the courtship of a certain Unguentine to the woman we know only as Mrs. Unguentine, the chronicler of their sad, fantastical tale. For forty years, they sail the seas together, alone on a giant land-covered barge of their own devising. They tend their gardens, raise a child, invent an artificial forest--all the while steering clear of civiliza ...more
"We fueled by night in obscure, foetid ports where I strip-teased on the prow, ringed by candles, to mollify thin-lipped customs officials, while Unguentine whispered assignat ...more
For very good reasons, none of that happens, but there exists the lure of the ocean and land, solitude and union, and I am caught in between, enraptured.
And why wouldn't she? Her only companion is a ...more
If you were to strip away its wildness and all it's overgrown but oddly vague details (But then, why would you do that, right? Because that's the story, right? I'd agree with myself if I were talking about style. Because style, in fiction, really is all there is. Or nearly so. But I'm not talking about style, not mostly. Mostly ...more
Briefly: Just when you might think you’ve had it with PoMo silliness, along comes something that’s anything but. I started this one thinking, Oh no. Proceeded with a sense of dread. Nothing beautiful. Nothing exciting. To eventually arrive at a place of And yet.
What may or may not be pages of the narrator’s log, recounts years (and years, and years) at sea (or not), with her husband (and his memory, and his ghost, and his love, or not) on a barge that is transformed into a burgeoning floating is...more
It is to Crawford's credit that his linguistic wordplay and astute psychological portrait of his narrator cause even pages upon pages of catalogues of mundane and often petty chores aboard an ever-adrift barge and in-d ...more
This interview ...more
I wonder what the log of Noah’s Ark would be like. Probably it would’ve read like this:
“The view, when I had time, exhilarating and grand. There might even seem, as I would lift a sail and peep through the glass at the garden three stories below, the goat grazing at a pile of brush, ducks waddling from one pond to another, nothing else I could possibly desire.”
Log of the S.S. the Mrs. Unguentine is a book of maritime adventures, well, of sorts.
Actually it is an account of the m ...more