Unsettling. I read this about a year ago and have been unsettled about it ever since. Dawkins doesn't like the unknown. The discussion of quantum phys...moreUnsettling. I read this about a year ago and have been unsettled about it ever since. Dawkins doesn't like the unknown. The discussion of quantum physics was handled more cynically than it would have been by the pop-culture gurus like Chopra or the folks who crafted "What the Bleep Do We Know.?"
Unsettling. Dawkins takes apart the right-wingnuts, but he takes apart everyone else as well. An atheist through and through. Unsettling. (less)
Alchemy. sweat and inspiration: felled tree to cabinet. The shape of a tool. The shape it makes. Scrape of a file across a blade--how it feels in my fin...moreAlchemy. sweat and inspiration: felled tree to cabinet. The shape of a tool. The shape it makes. Scrape of a file across a blade--how it feels in my fingers.
That's what I love in a book about craft like this one. Recommended by a friend, (maybe she recalled I used to work beat steel and iron) this book about an ironworker was very satisfying on a number of counts. Lent's got a lyrical bent. There are times his writing about landscape approaches a master like James Lee Burke. His rendering of rural Vermont was wonderful.
There were times (aah hell, it's a book about love) when Lent approached the sentimental line in his lyrical passages. There weren't too many, not nearly as many as his passages about firing up the furnace,the heating then shaping of iron, tricking out first a 59 Thunderbird, then an equally old Beetle.
I like Lent's cadences, set up by an unusual punctuation for prose:
But she had a baby. A little boy. Not even a year old. And he freaked.
And William, here's a passage for cat lovers. The two characters are fixing to adopt two cats. I've introduced line breaks, something I hope Lent would understand:
The frowned at him. “Whatever. The point is, during the time I knew her best she had a pair just like this. Red and black. The red cat named Rufus and the dark one Tom— original, I know, but that's what she called em, her best company. So, if it's all right with you.”
“Yup. That sounds fine. Are you taking them over or, are are we going to share?”
“You don't know much about cats, do you Hewitt?”
“ Always thought I knew all I need to.”
“Well, you don't. We don't share. They're the ones do the picking.”
Take Clemens' god awful father of Huck and explore the depths of his depravity. I mean, really go deep and then some. Be miserly when you add little...more Take Clemens' god awful father of Huck and explore the depths of his depravity. I mean, really go deep and then some. Be miserly when you add little kindnesses and fragments of human yearnings. Then you've got Finn.
Difficult to read because the evil of the title persona, someone who Clinch imagines into a full blown character is so immense.
The novel relies is recursive in its own structure as well as in how it meshes with Clemens' narrative. I was always impressed by how skillfully this novel converses with what inspired it.
Clinch imagines for his characters a dialect and dialog that is terse and humorous. At the same time, the omniscient third person narrator uses a diction and syntax that is mid 19th century, or so I imagine it is. If it's not, I am fooled but enjoyed being bluffed.
For those of you who read Clemens' scholarship, there are some rewards in the brief author's note at the end of the book.