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Donald Harington
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Donald Harington > Lightning Bug, Part Two

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message 1: by Mike, "Lawyer Stevens" (new)

Mike (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 1820 comments Mod
Lightning Bug, Part Two

As I was saying, Latha is a woman of strong sexuality. Her exercise of it occurs rarely. But when it happens, the term "la petite morte" was never more applicable than to Latha, who literally faints and remains unconscious for a period of time, waking up with a tremendous sense of well being.

Dolph complicates matters by making it his sole purpose in life to marry Latha Bourne, a task she doesn't make easy for him, as she gave him a false name and her residence in a town other than Stay More. Latha doesn't see the need to complicate her life by marriage.

Of course, Dolph does track her down, eventually. She tells him she's married to a fellow that works over in the canning factory in town. That's not true either.

It's at this point that Every Dill reappears in Stay More. His occupation? He's become a preacher. He's returned to post fliers around Stay More announcing his intention to preach a revival. Dill's transformation from soldier to bank robber to preacher dumbfounds the residents of Stay More.

Every buys tacks from Latha to post his fliers. He returns to borrow a hammer to put them up. Clearly, Every is of the mind that Latha is his intended and their love was something meant to be from the time they were barely out of childhood.

Latha's niece, Sonora, flat out confronts Latha with her belief that Every is her father and that Latha is not her aunt, but her mother. She can see their features in her face and this is a fact that she recognizes intuitively.

Within a short time, Latha succumbs to Every's continued proposals of marriage on the condition that she make love to him before the marriage. Every's commitment to the Lord prohibits him from committing the sin of fornication but insists on putting a ring on Latha's finger.

In a recent discussion of whether authors intentionally interject symbolism into their works, I can't speculate on Harington's position on this subject. However, I will say that Every's last name is Dill. Of course, his nickname he was stuck with was "Pickle." Not only is Every a stand in for every man, within the context of this novel, Every's Pickle stands in and up for male sexuality with a priapic vengeance. And Latha's not interested in just an every man's pickle, but the one that belonged to her first love.

What follows is an impasse that can only be resolved by Every's conversation with God and Latha's own conversation with Christ. To say the episodes are dreamlike and surreal is an understatement of the greatest magnitude. I will say that Latha's conversations with Christ and his references to what his Dad would think provide some of those moments of tears resulting from laughter. I'll limit the summary to the fact that Christ's and Latha's conversations occur over each of them sharing peaches in an orchard and a different twist on the incarnation of mortals by whichever aspect of the Trinity the reader so desires.

"Lightning Bug" is a tangle of flashbacks and narrators. It is one of Harington's masterstrokes on what makes this novel work so well. I've seen one reviewer who questioned the significance of "Dawny" and his fate, and the identity of the other narrators in this tale.

In this reviewer's opinion, Harrington combines techniques of omniscient narrator, a very subjective narration speaking as to another person through the use of you. That second mentioned narrator is "Dawny" as a grown man, reminiscing of his coming of age in Staymore. The object of his narration is none other than Latha Bourne, addressing her as "Bug," for Latha is the ultimate human form of lightning bug that mysteriously appears on those warm summer nights and makes each of them the magic we carry with us from childhood till death. And it is Harington's use of himself as narrator through which we are able to unravel the mystery of Latha's past which the omniscient narrator does not, will not, or perhaps cannot provide us. For Latha Bourne is one of those unique and magical individual which, once she becomes a part of our lives, we are forever incapable of forgetting the impact she has had on our lives.

I'll leave this review by saying the reader will find complete satisfaction with Harington's resolution of this novel. Love never dies. I'd say that's a good thing.

For more on the works of Donald Harington, I found these references particularly fascinating. I sincerely hope you'll come by the PO down at Stay More and join me there. I think the place and the people that live there have a whole lot to tell us about what it means to live.

"Donald Harington's Stay More Novels: A Celebration of Thirty-five Years," Bob Razer http://libinfo.uark.edu/specialcollectio...

wn.com/Donald_Harington (This site includes biographical information, video interviews with Donald Harington and other helpful information

"Donald Harington Interview" by Edwin T. Arnold, http://www.donaldharington.com/interview...

"Remembering Donald Harington and Stay More," Bob Razer,
http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?si...

"Donald Harington, Ozark Surrealist, Dies at 73" By WILLIAM GRIMES, Published: November 12, 2009, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/arts/1...

Y'all come back, now. Y'hear? Stay a while more in Stay More, Arkansas.

Lawyer Stevens


s.penkevich (spenkevich) | 24 comments Marvelous. Makes me glad I read this book, and that I would have voted for Clinton as well (had I been old enough ha). I think Harington would be proud. I plan on reading another of his someday soon.


message 3: by Mike, "Lawyer Stevens" (new)

Mike (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 1820 comments Mod
s.penkevich wrote: "Marvelous. Makes me glad I read this book, and that I would have voted for Clinton as well (had I been old enough ha). I think Harington would be proud. I plan on reading another of his someday soon."

S., the second Stay More novel is Some Other Place. The Right Place., originally published in 1972. A further note on Harington. The novels are not chronological factually with the goings on in Stay More in order of publication. I'm planning on reading all of them. For the cycle of novels really is one story of one place.


s.penkevich (spenkevich) | 24 comments I think that is really cool how he does that, which is also part of the reason I love Faulkner so much. It makes each book seem like visiting your home again. I can't wait to head back to stay more in Stay More.


message 5: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new)

Diane Barnes | 625 comments Mod
Y'all have convinced me, I just ordered "Lightening Bug" from Alibris. Can't get it on my Nook.


message 6: by Mike, "Lawyer Stevens" (last edited Feb 19, 2012 01:34PM) (new)

Mike (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 1820 comments Mod
Diane wrote: "Y'all have convinced me, I just ordered "Lightening Bug" from Alibris. Can't get it on my Nook."

Harington's works were formerly published by the Toby Press. Amazon bought the entire Toby catalog, including the complete novels of Donald Harington. Kindle users are able to "borrow" Harington Novels from Amazon. My understanding is this is an Amazon exclusive and not available for B&N's Nook. In addition to Alibris, let me recommend http://www.abe.com the website for The American Booksellers Exchange. Another excellent source.

Lawyer Stevens


Mary (MaryBT) | 54 comments I haven't read Lightning Bug yet, but Harington is one of my all time favorite authors (a list which also includes Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Clyde Edgerton, and Charles Portis), even though I've only read about 4 of his books.


message 8: by Mike, "Lawyer Stevens" (new)

Mike (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 1820 comments Mod
I love Harington. Lightning Bug was my into section. Ultimately I plan to read the complete works. I'm happy "The Oxford American steered me to him.


s.penkevich (spenkevich) | 24 comments Mary wrote: "I haven't read Lightning Bug yet, but Harington is one of my all time favorite authors (a list which also includes Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Clyde Edgerton, and Charles Portis), even though I've ..."

Which of his books was your favorite?


message 10: by Mary (last edited Mar 05, 2012 11:53AM) (new)

Mary (MaryBT) | 54 comments "Architecture of The Arkansas Ozarks" by a looooong shot. It was hysterical in that quirky way of his. It's also the story of the beginning of Stay MOre.


s.penkevich (spenkevich) | 24 comments Mary wrote: ""Architecture of The Arkansas Ozarks" by a looooong shot. It was hysterical in that quirky way of his. It's also the story of the beginning of Stay MOre."

Awesome, I think I'll jump to that one next. Thank you!


message 12: by Mike, "Lawyer Stevens" (new)

Mike (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 1820 comments Mod
Mary wrote: ""Architecture of The Arkansas Ozarks" by a looooong shot. It was hysterical in that quirky way of his. It's also the story of the beginning of Stay MOre."

Thanks, Mary, for your advice! Harington didn't write the story of Stay More in straight chronological order. Again, so good to have you here.

Lawyer Stevens


Shirin Assa (ShirinAssa) | 1 comments hi everyone

n thanks to Mike for ur nice invitation.

i wanted to ask u that r we gonna read only ¨southern literary trail¨:D nt a smart question, i know but i m looking for someone interested in literature in general...classics, none English literature, fictions n all...
so it would be great if somebody say sth abt it.



Fondly
ps; i m nt a native speaker, be nice n correct me or forgive me:)


Marlene (Marlene1001) | 51 comments Shirin wrote: "hi everyone

n thanks to Mike for ur nice invitation.

i wanted to ask u that r we gonna read only ¨southern literary trail¨:D nt a smart question, i know but i m looking for someone interested i..."


This group is just for Southern Litearture, but I think I know a group for you. I met Mike at the "Literary Exploration" group. There we read almost everything. We just had a go at dystopian novels and moved to sheep-crime now. Well, told ya so: We read everything. xD


message 15: by Mary (last edited Mar 06, 2012 05:15PM) (new)

Mary (MaryBT) | 54 comments Mike wrote: "Mary wrote: ""Architecture of The Arkansas Ozarks" by a looooong shot. It was hysterical in that quirky way of his. It's also the story of the beginning of Stay MOre."

Thanks, Mary, for your adv..."


Yeah, he jumps around the chronology of Stay More a lot (that's why I didn't read his books in order, because it doesn't matter); but "Architecture" goes clear back to when there was one Native couple living there and the first white guy came so that's why I said that it covers the beginning of Stay More. That and it's my very favorite book so I want everyone to read it because I'm bossy like that. lol.


Jeffrey Keeten (jkeeten) | 45 comments Mike wrote: "s.penkevich wrote: "Marvelous. Makes me glad I read this book, and that I would have voted for Clinton as well (had I been old enough ha). I think Harington would be proud. I plan on reading anothe..."
I was just going to ask the Sullivan Oracle for the second Stay More novel and here it was. I just finished Lightning Bug, what a fun book.


Tony | 7 comments I just started The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks last night and I do not want to go to work. By Page 10, when Jacob Ingeldew and the Indian Fanshaw get into a philosophical debate about "Why do we drink this stuff?" I was hooked. This is Twain-funny. Turns out, in "between drunkenness and sobriety there is a wide country." What's it called? Joy? Well, Fanshaw has a squaw and he knows what Joy is. No, the Name of that Country is Importance. I love stuff like that.


Jeffrey Keeten (jkeeten) | 45 comments I got to say I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend reading it to the group. High marks for originality, sex appeal, and exposure to an environment beyond anything most of us will ever experience.(hopefully) Here is my review if anyone has a hankering for more of my opinion on this book. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


Mary (MaryBT) | 54 comments Tony wrote: "I just started The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks last night and I do not want to go to work. By Page 10, when Jacob Ingeldew and the Indian Fanshaw get into a philosophical debate about "Why..."


Wait until Staymore floods. I STILL crack up thinking about that.


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