Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Gap in the Palace, with Lions

Aporia . . . I think George Puttenham defines that as a literary device called "the gap" in The Art of English Poesy (1589, or thereabouts.) The lovely Art is one of many desirable books in 25 boxes of books jettisoned between New York and North Carolina, many moves ago.

After chaperoning small children last week and being caught in two rains at various pleasure spots and in one flat-out downburst at the Fun Park (while driving a miniature two-seater race car with a pleasantly rotund, hungry, red-haired boy named Toby, too short to drive alone), I caught the big bad crud or the flu or something. Something evil, like the black goo that chases Howl in Miyazaki's new film, a loose interpretation of Howl's Moving Castle. Which I hear is not very accurate as to the book and needs to be either more true or less true. Nevertheless, I must see it, because I am a fan of Diana Wynne Jones' books and Miyazaki's movies, and my daughter adores the book.

The only thing that has caught my attention in this Time of Flu & Goo was the AP wire story about the little Ethiopian girl kidnapped by seven men and "saved" by lions who stood around her and then vanished in the forest "like a wish." Now voices of reason are saying that really the lions who saved her were probably about to devour her. . . However, it's just a little too Daniel-in-the-lions'-den to reason away: luminous and mythic, rather than ordinary. Not that being eaten by lions is ordinary, exactly.

It occurs to me that my agent is on safari right now, somewhere in Africa.

It's a big place.

More anon.

1 comment:

  1. Not nearly as magical as being surrounded by blue Persians!

    Lady Azure's Secretary

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.