Monday, January 30, 2012

From Gilbert Sorrentino’s final work

It begins:

Mundane things, pitiful in their mundane assertiveness, their sad isolation. Kraft French dressing, glowing weirdly orange through its glass bottle, a green glass bowl of green salad, a bottle of Worcestershire sauce, its paper wrapper still on. All are in repose, in their absolute thingness, under the overhead alarming bright light of the kitchen. They may or they should, they must, really, reveal the meaning of this silent room, this silent house, save that they won’t. There is no meaning. These things will evoke nothing.

In years to come, almost three-quarters of a century, they still evoke nothing. Orange, green, incandescent glare. Silence and loss. Nothing. There might be a boy of four at the table. He is sitting very straight and is possibly waiting for someone.

Gilbert Sorrentino, The Abyss of Human Illusion (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2009).
The back cover calls The Abyss of Human Illusion a novel. In fact it is a collection of fifty short pieces of doom and wit. I love Sorrentino’s writing. The details of his Brooklyn are the details of my Brooklyn.

Related posts
Bandbox (a word in a Sorrentino novel)
Gilbert Sorrentino (1929–2006)

[This book is available at a sadly low price from you-know-where.]

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