Monday, July 28, 2008

Two thoughts upon reading 'The Week'

In this week's The Week, David Maraniss picks DeLillo's Underworld as one of his six favorite books. He writes: "My favorite opening chapter in modern fiction, a riot of baseball, Jackie Gleason, J. Edgar Hoover, Frank Sinatra, andy Pafko, the most famous home run in history, and some of the best writing ever. The rest of the book cannot match it, but I don't care, I keep reading this chapter over and over for inspiration.

I remember reading "Pafko at the Wall" in proof form, before it appeared as the very first Harper's Folio. It felt like a home run. And to start a huge, career-capping work like Underworld with such a chapter is like saying, I'm out to hit a home run!

What if: DeLillo had ended with the "Pafko at the Wall" chapter? Everything that came before would then be a solid base hit...and then he'd hit a grand slam...

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Blast from the past: Here's what I picked for The Week...

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