just trying to keep score.

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blake butler, there is no year

“Usually the cable’s crap connection delivered all the channels with a rind of fuzz. The screen would sometimes spurt and bubble with long rips of swish, often in the most important moments of a program, or at least the moments the person watching would most like to see. The cable company had sent several repairmen with no success. Several of the men had fallen off the roof, cracked bones or bruises. One of the men had lost his thumb.”

Not quite a random paragraph, but close enough to serve as a core sample. Most everything is here: the banality of the situation and the problem in poor cable reception; the swooping diction and exuberant images (spurt and bubble with long rips of swish, which only makes sense in an onomatopoeic or imagistic way); the sense of decay (rind of fuzz); the breakdown of grammar (cracked bones or bruises); the touch of macabre in the lost thumb.

Harper Perennial 04.05.11

April 09, 2011, 7:57am   Comments