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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

-2011

Diana Wynne Jones.  Christopher Logue.  And now Russell Hoban.  Unique, special writers.  And they all are gone from us this year, leaving behind gifts.  Howl's Moving Castle and the Chrestomanci novellas. War Music and All Day Permanent Red.  Riddley Walker and The Mouse and His Child and the Frances stories. And many more.

I was left behind
as wind divided for the ghost;
as grass first opened, silent,
and then, silent, closed.
    --from Rosanne Coggeshall (1946-2009), "Dead Quail"

Requiescant in pace

7 comments:

  1. Yes, I know what you mean. It seems that the number of deaths is speeding up, but it is probably just a function of my age, one at which the people I hear about, read, see will die now or soon.

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  2. For me, it is the ones that I have met in books and paintings and so on that make me feel sad that I will not meet them--especially ones that I've corresponded with and never met.

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  3. Eventually we shall all meet them - and everyone else, I guess. It does seems so strange... this dying thing. Life is such a singular way of existing!

    I am sad to read of this though, Marly.

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  4. Paul,

    Oh, how I wanted to meet DWJ in the flesh, now. Preferably on a sunny day outside, rather than in her smoky inside!

    Yes, it is a strange and often wonderful thing--a dream that passes.

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  5. Paul, once again I--a mystical and somewhat old-fashioned (perhaps so old I am new again) Episcopalian in love with words and the Word--am desirous of being un-confused by your own way of seeing the world. Write me?

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  6. Riddley Walker was very important to me at one time, but I always thought 'Turtle Diary' was something of an undiscovered wonder; there was even a very good (IMO) film of it with a pretty stellar cast - Glenda Jackson, Ben Kingsley, Michael Gambon - which never seemed to get much attention either.

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  7. Lucy,

    I have several Hoban books on my shelf that I have not read... Must read "Turtle Diary," for sure!

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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.