Friday, March 6, 2015

Down Watercourses of Our Dragon Childhood

First things first - David Gilmour is 69 today. As often stated, I neither love nor hate Pink Floyd, or rather, depending on the quality of the acid or mushrooms or peyote and the song at the time I either loved or hated Pink Floyd. But Gilmour plays lead guitar on one of my very favorite Kate Bush songs - have I ever mentioned that I love Kate Bush - and any excuse to post one of my very favorite Kate Bush songs.

Second things second - snowbound at home yesterday I start-to-finished Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant. I neither loved or hated it. The one component of all previous Ishiguro novels that I love best, an overwhelming sense of the uncanny, was missing. Maybe this is why I don't get fantasy: dragons, metaphorical or otherwise, where there shouldn't be, cool, dragons where there should be, meh. This is of course unfair: I've never denied being a genre snob, I take all the blame. And to be fairer, it wasn't the fantasy aspects at all: in The Buried Giant I knew exactly what the plot twist would be at page three, or rather, if in his other novels I know where Ishiguro is going he always surprised me anew how he got there, but here.... Perhaps Ishiguro need rid himself of the idea that he need explore societal memory in contrast to the individual memory he explored in his previous novels to move forward to what's next. To be fairest, I thought he was doing both already.

I don't begrudge him. I will read it again in six months to be fair to it and me. Read The Unconsoled instead if you've never read Ishiguro. If you ask nice and I like you I'll buy you a copy.


Muriel Rukeyser

Murmurs from the earth of this land, from the caves and craters,
       from the bowl of darkness. Down watercourses of our
       dragon childhood, where we ran barefoot.
We stand as growing women and men. Murmurs come down
        where water has not run for sixty years.
Murmurs from the tulip tree and the catalpa, from the ax of
        the stars, from the house on fire, ringing of glass; from
        the abandoned iron-black mill.
Stars with voices crying like mountain lions over forgotten
Blue directions and a horizon, milky around the cities where the
        murmurs are deep enough to penetrate deep rock.
Trapping the lightning-bird, trapping the red central roots.
You know the murmurs. They come from your own throat.
You are the bridges to the city and the blazing food-plant green;
The sun of plants speaks in your voice, and the infinite shells of
A beach of dream before the smoking mirror.
You are close to that surf, and the leaves heated by noon, and
        the star-ax, the miner’s glitter walls. The crests of the sea
Are the same strength you wake with, the darkness is the eyes
        of children forming for a blaze of sight and soon, soon,
Everywhere, you own silence, who drink from the crater, the
        nebula, one another, the changes of the soul.


  1. Thanks for the precise on the new Ishiguro. It's lined up just behind Lee Rourke's "The Canal" on my night table. Still looking forward to it. Do not neglect to read the new Tom McCarthy.

    1. Will keep McCarthy - whose other novels I neither loved or hated - on radar. Don't know where I'm going next. This, of course, suggests Buried Giant had a greater impact than I thought since I can't imagine reading anything else at this moment. Fell asleep thinking about it, still thinking about it. In any case, best to not start another novel, at least not this minute.

      Gonna spend the weekend with this

  2. triskelion is, among other things, a fictional building on theodore roosevelt island in the potomac river, headquarters of SHIELD - see movie captain america: the winter solder - really, see it - i found it enjoyable

  3. Thank you, BDR. Indeed, there's no Star Trek allusion quite like a stupidass Star Trek allusion...I suspect that the reliance on TOS will have cost me the 'youth vote' as it were, but I am old and set in my memes. Hey, at least it wasn't a 'Dark Star' reference - THAT would have spelled doom in at least 18 different solar systems.