Sunday, September 10, 2006

Now through a circuitous circuit, I am reading the short stories of Carson McCullers, called "Seven" after her recognition of the effectiveness of the number by her character, Miss Amelia.

Many great writing samples may already be familiar to you; the one I want to include here (from "Sojourner") describes a Bach prelude and fugue. "The prelude was as gaily iridescent as a prism in a morning room. The first voice of the fugue, an announcement pure and solitary, was repeated intermingling with a second voice and again repeated within an elaborated frame, the multiple music, horizontal and serene, flowed with unhurried majesty. The principal melody was woven with two other voices, embellished with countless ingenuities - now dominant, again submerged, it had the sublimity of a single thing that does not fear surrender to the whole."

Yes, that describes us-all in the universe!

So the free Friday Target Museum of Modern Art night included, along with the closing of the Dada exhibit, a screening of "Reflections in a Golden Eye," a shockingly technicolor print in one of the only two familiar rooms left in that museum, the basement screening room atop the super submerged 5th avenue subways. I saw the first hour of that.

And I still carry the memory of the last two reels of "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" in James Wong Howe's technicolor cinematography. It occurred to me that an author is the progenitor of these unique visions. Tennessee Williams films are their own genre; perhaps the same is true of Ms. McCullers.

Colleen McCullough, the Thorn Birds, no, I can't be so lucky as to have a book by McCullers, oh, there it is, the 35 cent Bantam Giant with the cover of tall woman leading the hunchback up the stairs, some figures in red behind her....the act of my reading it destroying its brittle paper.

The Baghdad Cafe? No, the lead story is "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe." Was she too rejecting and controlling? It looked like a delicate balance existed for a time, and that was a good time for the town... It was all so infinitely relatable in its strangeness...

Edward Albee wrote the play?

I read it on the bus to West Point. Was West Point the setting for "Reflections in a Golden Eye?" This is my circuitous route to the great writing of Carson McCullers.