Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rearranging and listening in on conversations 

Francesca Lia Block and James Dickey both demanded prominence. I have all of her books, and I'm acquiring all of his - I have both his novel (Deliverance and To the White Sea - I have seen rumors that he wrote a third novel, but they were not conclusive at all, so I believe he did only write those two) and a few books of his poetry. I'm choosing his poetry books carefully and only at used book stores. During my last trip to Nashville, I found a copy that he had signed and inscribed. Both authors devote much time and the perfect words to description of environment, though the environments are so different (a glitter-gritty, almost-fairy-tale version of LA and a raw portrayal of nature as an enemy, and a brutal, unforgiving one at that). Block uses dialogue. Dickey has a single character for much of his novels and thus little dialogue.

They're next to each other on the shelf that stands alone to welcome people into my library. They're talking to quietly for me to hear.

I've moved my books by Fletcher Pratt and my books about Stephen Decatur to the shelf immediately above. Decatur's fascinated by how Pratt has portrayed him and all of his peers in Pratt's historical non-fiction. Pratt is glorying in finally meeting the man he's devoted so much ink to, find out if he was accurate in his imaginings. Once they get comfortable, I'll probably move my collection of John Paul Jones (which is significantly smaller than my collection of Decatur books and ephemera. Yes, I've bought ephemera related to Decatur. I've become an official collector. The madness has set in).

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