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Me and Sylvia, smiling for the camera (August 2005)


Jeremy's journal

Somehow, Cleveland has survived, with her gray banner unfurled -- the banner of Archangelsk and Detroit, of Kharkov and Liverpool -- the banner of men and women who would settle the most ignominious parts of the earth, and there, with the hubris born neither of faith nor ideology but biology and longing, bring into the world their whimpering replacements.

Gary Shteyngart

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🦋 Bad Dirt

Today and yesterday, I read Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2, by Annie Proulx. (A better verb than "read" might be "drank in" or "devoured".) What an amazing book -- Flannery O'Connor has some serious competition for my favorite author of short stories.

I got interested in reading Proulx from the story Brokeback Mountain, which I read last week prior to seeing the movie -- what struck me about that story was the fullness of characterization, and the palpable sense of time passing; I loved it and wanted to read more. So on my way to the movie theater I stopped at Montclair Book Center where I picked up Bad Dirt and Shipping News.

Bad Dirt mixes gravity and whimsy deftly, I particularly loved how The Wamsutter Wolf -- maybe the most moving story in the book -- is sandwiched in between The Contest and Summer of the Hot Tubs, both lighthearted, almost superficial stories. The characters are great -- the two I identified most closely with were probably Creel Zmundzinski (who opens and closes the book) and Buddy Millar (who is only in one story, The Wamsutter Wolf). But I got to know every character well and to feel for them.

posted evening of December 22nd, 2005: Respond
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