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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Book #20 on my reading list this year was Padgett Powell's Typical.

I've been on a role lately, as Typical is yet another in a series of excellent short story collections I've been reading. Powell's work is terrific here, often on par with the Raymond Carver, Donald Barthelme, and Barry Hannah types of the world. My favorites were the outstanding titular piece, the George Saunders-esque "Mr. Irony", "Wayne's Fate", and the excellent closing piece "The Winnowing of Mrs. Schuping".

"Now is a scary item if ever there was one. I have, I suspect, never not miffed the now. Now is too fast for me. Now leads to drinking. Drinking undoes now handsomely. Dismantles the whole onslaught. And in that refuge, respite of straight time, you can be afraid to come back, very very afraid. Very. Very." -- from "Fear and Infinitude"