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

The Heretofore Unmentioned #5


John Barth

3 comments :

Vanwall said...

He looks remarkably serious here.

Tom Sutpen said...

He might have just read that brutal essay Gore Vidal wrote for The New York Review of Books, disembowelling him, Donald Barthelme and Thomas Pynchon.

I like some of Barth's work (The End of the Road and The Floating Opera are my favorites; which might say more about me than it does about Barth); others (The Sot Weed Factor, Chimera) I find pretty impenetrable.

ambrose mensch said...

Never seen it before. It's an alternate shot from the session that produced the Giles Goat-Boy author photo:

http://www.davidlouisedelman.com/barth/fiction/