Thursday, January 21, 2010

"A fuck innocent of madness..."

Here's a sample from Updike's Rabbit Redux, since I know no one has taken my advice and read it and also to demonstrate that I do not sit around and talk shit about everything. I defend my tastes. That's all. This book is next to me when I find myself at a dead end. I read and forget my troubles.

"Her thighs part easily, she grows wet readily, she is sadly unclumsy, at this, she has indeed been to bed with many men. In the knowing way she handles his prick he feels their presences, feels himself competing, is put off, goes soft. She leaves off and comes up and presses the gumdrop of her tongue between his lips. Puddled on the floor, they keep knocking skulls and ankle bones on the furniture....a fuck innocent of madness."

I mean, this is not only why his first Rabbit book was banned, but it is some damned good writing. Notice his use of the comma. "Puddled on the floor, they keep..."
You could write "Puddled on the floor they keep..." But that pause the comma gives is important because it is a picture in itself. Is that a prepositional clause or an adjectival clause? Puddled on...
Anyone know? Whatever it is, I don't think the comma is required, but he puts it anyway. A fuck innocent of madness. Sadly unclumsy.
I'm just in awe. He's got the long game and the short game.
Richard Ford wrote a similar series. One of the books is called Independence Day. I recommend it to anyone.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.