The Runaway Soul
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Recent Post by Page. George Salis. Marvelous indeed, with beautifully archaic prose and dream imagery. Ah, what be any man but damned who casts no shadow? Shadow, shadow, the dark blot of being, stain of the blood waters, deep and heavy and old, mark of suffering, God's fiery tears, trail of ashes drenching our bones. He who casts no shadow, is he not unquiet in quiet forever, dead in life and live in death?
Mail day: two buried books by Ghanaian author Kojo Laing who has bee Search Sweet Country and Woman of the Aeroplanes Both of these surreal novels have glossaries featuring the author's neologism and also Ghanaian words. You want to exercise your will, bend the language your way, bend the world your way. You want to control the flow of impulses, images, words, faces, ideas.
Q :: Then how can you be talking about 'masterp Well now. Q :: Then how can you be talking about 'masterpiece' and 'genius'?
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- The Runaway Soul by Harold Brodkey - purlatuterti.ml.
- 40. A Doonesbury Retrospective 1970 to 1979.
Were you being ironic? A :: No. Not being ironic. Judgments about objects, such as novels, are not in the first place based upon my 'enjoyment' of them. I don't dare make a judgement about the quality of a milkcow because despite having several dairymen in my family, I never bothered picking up the standards of judgement regarding milkcows. Q :: There you go with the Proust thing again.
Why does everyone have to invoke Proust or Joyce in every instance? A :: Well I guess in the first instance it's because we are dealing with a novel that operates at that level. In my experience some novels feel like they attempt a project sort of in line with Proust and others, rather different kinds of novels, feel to be attempting something more in line with whatever Joyce was doing in his three great works. At any rate, I'm much more of a Joycean than a Proustian ; that's where the subjectivity and 'bias' come in.
I don't enjoy the Proustian stuff so much. But that doesn't mean I can't say things like 'genius' and 'masterpiece' about it. I'm not likely to read a book of essays on stuff like this ; but I'll pick up, say, Paradoxical Resolutions: American Fiction since James Joyce in a heartbeat. A :: More or less.
Well it's all that introversion, all the probing inwardness, all that psychology. Constant self-analysis swirling swirling around itself.
Q :: Memory? A :: Well, yes, that too.
It's also about itself being written in a way similar to Proust's book. A :: Well, look.
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You mentioned 'horizon' which I think is the right word here. I've had this book on my horizon for I think like six years now. Not only on my horizon, but literally on my bookshelf. For six years I've anticipated reading it, was haunted by it, taunted by it. Downright feared reading it. Those six years of the book on my horizon are part of my reading experience.
Which is to say, those six years of the book's presence upon my horizon made my reading of it much richer ; made the reading other books much richer.
The Runaway Soul
Put this novel on your horizon. Maybe you won't ever read it. But knowing of it, touching a copy perhaps, nodding toward it now and then, well, you're better for doing that. Q :: I was sort of expecting a list of titles and such A :: Right. Q :: Indeed. We instinctively resist a consciousness, ungovernable as a river, that might bear us along, overwhelm, or even drown us.
Unfortunately Friend Jonathan bailed gr a while back. Now I have it. I am happified. Something about "much maligned" and one insightful goodreads reviewer used the word "verbal diarrhea" but hers is a sentence fragment meaning perhaps to have said "not" verbal diarrhea. View all 9 comments. Especially in the case of this anti- novel, almost as if it were specifically designed to make the reader's mind wander, or levitate between the semi- abstract prose and unrelated thoughts spurred or not by portions of the text itself, although there aren't any puzzles here, mostly absences.
The Runaway "The runaway soul goes groping--and plunging--and flying and lying--and tryingand dying The Runaway Soul seems to be a peak though not zenith of Proustian evolution that reaches something of a mental singularity in the technological sense , thus leaving the reader behind. In this way the novel could be regarded as a nadir. But there are moments that evoked for me unnamable feelings and an actual skull-mental tingle similar to THC or maybe ASMR, and a couple more concrete than that, such as my father's hairbrush stubble against my adolescent cheek.
Accidental symptoms of a failed masterpiece? Brodkey repeatedly mentions the failure of conventional narrative forms and exercises to describe or relay reality, as with this bit of seeming sincerity: "What happened is hard to describe: nothing in life, especially voices and motives and actions, is as clear as it is in a narrative.
One should look to the works of Joseph McElroy for a better approximation of a solution. One of the most notable differences here is that, with McElroy, I am left puzzled in the sense of mental mystification, like a Lynch film, really. Whereas with The Runaway Soul I am left puzzled in the sense of slightly irritated confusion. In other words, there was plenty of potential, but it was circumnavigated and -scribed and ultimately abandoned. Such as Nonie's psychopathy, which most likely caused her to kill her infant brother, then her second infant brother. Or the barest of hints that S.
And so we are left with something of an page excursus, composed almost entirely of exposition sans concrete examples, scenes, and actions, which makes the exposition seem mostly meaningless and emotionless 'The War' chapter is the height of such inexplicable babble. Would it help to read Brodkey's earlier work, which is ostensibly a constant reshuffling of the same themes and characters, etc.?
All this might have been redeemed by a more evocative prose style, but it tends to be, on the whole, bland and repetitive, if not at times suspect of amateurism if one didn't know better , such as the unselfconscious indulgence of adverbs: " Salman Rushdie admired Brodkey's creation of portmanteaus. I don't think sticking a hyphen between words where an 'and' could suffice really counts.
In terms of material, much of The Runaway Soul was drawn from Brodkey's second collection of short stories, Stories in an Almost Classical Mode , which in turn was made of Brodkey's entire story output during the period to The reviews of The Runaway Soul were mixed, and some quite negative. Time magazine's review on publication was lukewarm at best, ending with the observation, "[O]ne of the earliest [chapter headings] says volumes about the volume to follow. It is titled 'The Masturbation'. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.