Re: RARA-AVIS: Salt River by James Sallis

From: Sarah (
Date: 08 Jan 2009

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "Re: RARA-AVIS: Salt River by James Sallis"

    Now, Baker's outside the scope of rara-avis - if anything, he's probably the antithesis -- but really boys, I must beg to differ. Saying THE MEZZANINE is "a novel about an office work's ride up an escalator" is to miss the point. Yes, that's the outer framework, but Baker's using this mundane task as a window into the joys that can and should be found in minutiae. So often we're on the move, rushing off somewhere, in the midst of carrying out our daily tasks that we don't stop to consider there might be some wonder and fun and exuberance found interstitially.

    I also think THE FERMATA is really great but I recognize Baker's walking a fine line between silly and serious and if you're not in the mood to go along for the ride, so to speak, it's not going to work.


    --- In, "jacquesdebierue"
    <jacquesdebierue@...> wrote:
    > --- In, "Brian Thornton"
    > <bthorntonwriter@> wrote:
    > > Oh, and Mario, if you like stuff that's slow moving and only gives you
    > > information in small doses, have you read Nicholson Baker's THE
    > > It's a novel about an office worker's ride up an escalator.
    > >
    > > One ride.
    > >
    > > Hundreds of pages.
    > >
    > > I kid. Seriously, reading that thing was like watching paint dry.
    > >
    > I was referring basically to the Faulkner style (I think he invented
    > it), not to excruciating slowness per se. It depends on content, of
    > course, on the story (if there is one). I prefer novels with a story.
    > In that respect, Sallis is a traditional storyteller. As to Baker, my
    > experience with a different novel (The Fermata) was not satisfactory.
    > To be frank, I found it silly. Maybe it's great for ardent admirers of
    > the writer.
    > Best,
    > mrt

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 08 Jan 2009 EST