The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

When Legends Gather #27

Ernest Hemingway, Sherman Billingsley and John O'Hara


Rob said...

Where the elite meet to eat. Boy, those two guys created some of the most unlikeable protagonists I ever read, but both were consummate craftsman; altho O'Hara could get a little overlong.

Bet you could meet with "a cookie full of arsenic" at that Club, or get thrown out and make a street rep for oneself, eh?


Tom Sutpen said...

O'Hara is one of my favorites, but he could be wildly inconsistent. For instance, though I admire many of his books extravagantly, the critic in me is forced to conclude that he never equalled his first two novels, Appointment in Samarra and Butterfield 8 for sheer storytelling brilliance and social observation.

I've got another picture from the Stork Club; a more typical one of Billingsley with Winchell and Damon Runyon. I'll post it as a later entry in this series.