Wednesday, May 5, 2021

 I woke to a slow rain ticking against the bedroom window, and it will continue all day long--a cool dark day, a perfect day to make chicken soup and wear a wool sweater and try to get to the finish line with this editing project. Mid-afternoon Paul and I will drive to Scarborough for his second vax, but I expect that will be the only blip in our otherwise slow and housebound hours.

I finished reading Tommy Orange's There There, and now I'm going to turn my reading attention entirely to the Odyssey, so that I can get through book 10 before my next confab with Teresa. I had mixed feelings about There There . . . good tight writing, excellent management of setting, but some structural problems, not enough time to get to know the characters, an ending that felt like a cop-out . . . in short, a book that read like high-quality apprentice fare, and yet it was a Pulitzer finalist, so what do I know?

Well, the world of the prize is a perennial puzzle, one that I have not solved as either a practitioner or a critic. Something goes on in those flood-lit meeting rooms. Or are they flash-lit? Or lantern-lit? Do they have trapdoors and secret staircases and hundred-year-old spiderwebs? Or are they broad and blank, with sadistic air-conditioning? I daresay I'll never find out.

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