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A Jolt of Sorrentino

Yesterday in the library I picked up Jeffrey Eugenides anthology of love stories (My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro) and was delighted to find Gilbert Sorrentino’s “The Moon in it’s Flight.” A nice dose of his meta-fiction cleared my head (and sinuses as I snorted with laughter). He takes one of the most told stories – young love, boy meets girl, boy falls in love – and twists the whims of the characters into something immediate and distanced at the same time, something nuanced. Here’s a beauty of a sentence:

The maimings of love are endlessly funny, as are the tiny figures of talking animals being blown to pieces in cartoons.

As well as this flash forward to Mexico and the boy’s travails there:

One night, a huge smiling Indian whore bathed his member in gin as a testament to the strict hygenie she claimed to practice and he absurdly thought of Rebecca, that he had never seen her naked, nor she him, as he was now in the Hollywood pink light of the whore’s room, Jesus hanging in his perpetual torture from the wall above the little bed. The woman was gentle, the light glinting off her gold incisor and the tiny cross at her throat. You good fuck, Jack, she smiled in her lying whore way. He felt her flesh again warm in that long-dead New Jersey sunlight. Turn that into a joke.

According to Sorrentino, art may not be able to rescue us, but it can inspire to live differently, to make it (art) differently. Thanks Gilbert.

You can read the story here.

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