Photo and model above by Tony Lovell: 26 Mar 12 – (completely coincidentally seen by me just an hour or so before I read MILLWELL by Glen Hirshberg): the above is the first tentative attempt by Tony Lovell to visually characterise THE APOCRYFAN who appears in my novella of the same name (to be published this year in THE LAST BALCONY book collection by The InkerMen Press).
The Janus Tree and other stories – by Glen Hirshberg
Subterranean Press 2011
Real-Time Review by DF Lewis: continued from HERE.
“Which doesn’t make sense, does it, I mean, it can’t be colder inside the planet, right? Also there were those weird shushes.”
‘Millwell’ is a word for a sort of run-off for natural ’weeping’ amid the complex of a seemingly uncomplex glacier: and this is a first person narration by a teenage girl who climbs a glacier in a mini-skirt with ‘the Indian’ in semi-search for his erstwhile friend ‘the Eskimo’ who was lost there or buried there or sucked under… This is, especially in the foregoing context, not a story that one can review as such but simply experience. Full of ice and flowing and shapes forming. It is perhaps not surprising that this Indian is ‘blue’ – or, at least, implicitly so: “blue inside” or ”mashed down in the blue wet” etc. Cf: the blue Cold Ones earlier that seemed to emerge cumulatively from this book’s earlier text: almost autonomously, mysteriously, extra-authorially emerging: and the story is actually, for me, the book’s “millwell” of leitmotifs. And there is a classic Hirshbergian objective correlative they discover in the ice called the “inukshuk’…as opposed to a ukulele or uk where I live… (26 Mar 12 – 7.25 pm bst)
Like Lick Em Sticks, Like Tina Fey
“…shuffles again, then fans the cards on top of the map.“
Fans the cards, amazingly – again, it seems, but for a different reason - in tune with the image above! And not cheating – like the woman in the story. This is a rolling road movie of a story (‘Thelma and Louise’? – though I’ve never seen it): two Misses Ill Kept Runts on the hanging star-mobile route-maps but a bit older? A bit colder? A bit wiser with ending’s warm fulsomeness? Not so many objective correlatives but slick similes instead that the pair of grown-up girls keep making about food, guns, cigarettes, their own backstories with warm-blooded kids abandoned, it seems… all to the rhythm of the car radio and the jockeying for fate’s positioning…and antlers eventually rutting with their car’s bumper rather than between old men’s walkers… A story, indeed, not designed for old men like me with all the juice nearly about to be sucked out like ice floes… (27 Mar 12 – 11.00 am bst)
The Nimble Men
“Up in the platform pod, I could see the jockey’s shadow just a little more clearly through the snow.“
Nimble is a good word for music by Erik Satie, I guess. And for climatic/cosmic lights at a lonely airport where the man working the de-icer seems other ways engaged: i.e. not as unnimble as those men with walkers, clashing antlers…! Another “glacier” here, too. This is a story of a small plane on a de-icing halt: its two pilots: its air stewardess, its six passengers, especially one of them who seems to be asleep or crying, or both: and snow swarming like tiny white killer bees (my expression, not the story’s). This is a ghostly tale where the book’s earlier moaning / whining becomes the whining of a Stephen-Kingian Todash: a light show: the crossing of some barrier by aliens with Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind / Zoltan Kodaly (but here it’s Satie, not Kodaly) impingements. Felicitously reminds me of ‘The Night Wire’, too. And ‘Little Lambs’. And, in a funny way, ‘Shomer’. Also, for me, the Hirshbergian ‘objective correlative’ comes home where the a character explicitly proffers various permutations of meaning to the main one in this story (eg: the penultimate paragraph on page 179). Also learnt what ‘poutine’ is via google. Something the guy in CE3K would have enjoyed I guess when obsessively building his lopped-off pyramid (eating it, or moulding it?) (27 Mar 12 – 12.15 pm bst)
THIS REAL-TIME REVIEW IS NOW CONTINUED HERE.