As if struggling my way through more than 900 pages of William H Gass’ isn’t already too much …
Yesterday I had a quick glance at Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport (a 1,000 page novel, more or less one-sentence stream of consciousness, told from inside the mind of an Ohio mother as she worries about everything from gun control to toilet training, weak ankles, white supremacy and “hydrangeas” … ) – and I understood, immediately, … I HAVE TO READ THIS!
It’s all in the voice, I think:
the fact that you wouldn’t think you’d need the word “hydrangea” all that much but it’s good to have it in your arsenal, the fact that it’s the sort of word that’s really pretty embarrassing not to have on the tip of your tongue when you need it, the fact that it’s kind of like forgetting the name Hamlet, or Cher or Miley Cyrus or something, the fact that the Irish are “drunk on remembrance,” the fact that folks just expect you to know certain things like the word hydrangea, they do, or some people do anyway, hydrangea, hydrangea, and if you don’t they think you’re weird, the fact that I should just write the darn thing down somewhere so I don’t forget it again, but then I’ll forget where I wrote it, and anyway I don’t think I will forget “hydrangea” again, the fact that I’ve learnt my lesson on that one, apples, …
Ellmann, Lucy. Ducks, Newburyport . Galley Beggar Press. Kindle Edition.
2 Comments Add yours
🙂 Wonderful excerpt!
I’m really surprised by the clarity & beauty of this seemingly un-readable text.