Start Suffering

“You suffer The Lime Twig like a dream. It seems to be something that is happening to you, that you want to escape from but can’t.”

- Flannery O’Connor

***

The stakes get raised again. After reading John Hawkes’s The Lime Twig I’m of a mind with Louise Gl├╝ck lines from “Mock Orange”:

How can I rest?
How can I be content
when there is still
that odor in the world?

And ‘odor’ is a very apt word. I’ve never read a book where there were so many scents, so much olfactory maneuvering. Here the narrator speaks of the femme fatales sent to distract the married Michael Banks:

The smell of women–girlish, matronly–and the smell of meat sauce were the same. As soon as it spread across his plate it went to his nostrils and they might not have bothered with their clothes, with procrastination. (150)