Wednesday, March 23, 2005

A winter quartet

1. Today's weather is straight out of Van Morrison's "Madame George." Not in terms of transvestites, but the bit about "the rain hail sleet and snow."

2. On the way home I passed someone wearing a Kerry-Edwards sweatshirt. (I wanted to turn this into a haiku, but can't make it work.)

3. Highly recommended: Luc Sante's Bob Dylan piece in The New York Review of Books. The article has so many good lines, it's hard to pick one, but this sentence made me laugh out loud: "[Blood on the Tracks] is so many people's favorite Dylan album in large part because it is the one that people can imagine themselves creating, were the muse to tap them on the forehead with a nine-pound hammer." How does he do it? Not Dylan; Sante!

4. On the reverse of a piece of scrap paper not long ago, I found some of the draft for my article on Charles Portis. The passage was about the importance of names; I mentioned that in True Grit, there's an outlaw who goes by the tag "The Original Greaser Bob," to distinguish himself from a johnny-come-lately who's impudently named himself Greaser Bob.

Upon looking at the printed article, however, I discovered that I'd cut out the line about the competing G.B.'s. Had I left it in, I might have profitably added a footnote about a parallel process undertaken by the various "Ray's" pizzerias in New York, some of which bear the additional moniker "Original."


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