Sunday, January 20, 2013

WHY, WE'RE ONLY BEGINNING

Reservoir woods.1
I still haven't gotten all the way around to even writing down my New Years' Resolutions, but still, I have a couple figured out, besides reading a book a week (doing well in that department, being through four already and a quarter of the way through Telegraph Avenue). Let's see, um ... daily flossing (c'mon, few of you do this), making pie crusts from scratch, 30 minute walks three times a week ... and reading at least one short story a week.

Reservoir woods.2
Being in the house of books, I had been intrigued by Story: The Fiction of the Forties, edited by White Burnett and Hallie Burnett, Dutton, New York, 1949. Some of you might remember the late, lamented Story Magazine. I decided to just start at the beginning and read through to the end. The first story is by Evelyn Gustafsson, about whom I could find nothing on the internets. The story is titled The Open-Minded Pagleighs and is about young peeps following trends (published in 1947). I liked this paragraph.

"The primitive turn of modern art is suited to the vigorous morning air of American culture," Michael said suddenly. He stood up, smiling, and moved his arms in an expressive, un-Bostonian way. "Why, we're only beginning," he went on. "It's a magnificent, fabulous age. Consider the American idiom, Brooklynese, the new architecture, the modern highways, the flood of American invention, the contagious feeling of motion and flow! Even, if you please, our corporations! Say what you like, corporations get things done!"

Reservoir woods.3

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