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

William Styron Dead at 81

William Styron, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Lie Down in Darkness, Set This House on Fire and The Confessions of Nat Turner has passed away at the age of 81, after one of those long-term illnesses one always finds allusion to in wire-service Obituaries. For those of you visiting us today who might be wondering why this passing is noteworthy . . . and to remind all of us what is disappearing fast . . . here is an appreciation by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt from today's edition of The New York Times.

And while we're on the subject, here is The Paris Review's 1954 interview with the now-late novelist.

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