Monday, July 9, 2012

You & Me - Padgett Powell (Book Review)

“Life will not be explained; sweep away the evidence.” 
And as it were, Powell’s “You And Me” lumbers an amphetaminic tarantella through profuse, express-way aphorism and that indelicate gafflegab which instructs the pages of Lewis Carroll’s beloved relic of a sweetheart. Powell exercises, with unmolested profundity, a romanticism of the absurd quotidian go-arounds, bedecking his booze-soaped interlocutors with wit, pith, and a most sparkling cynicism – from Judy Garland to Julia Child, to crooked-nosed poets to the springs of morphine, the inherent biology of the story is cellular and celluloid, much delivered of the trappings of contemporary literary dilettantism. 
These “sloppy vampires” chat earnestly about the coiffures of nihilism, the prose tottering deliberately in benumbed stupefaction, as every moor of imagination is explored, though hardly remarked. The somnambulistic dialogue may feel awkward to some, but philosophically the work is nearly sick with the existential sexuality of Sartre. Powell indexes nostalgic fires with “halcyon” sureness, and, sometimes, prefigures all the purple ballyhoo with a methodical silence, for “disputing nothing is the first step unto miracles.”


I received an advance copy of Mr. Powell's novel; the anticipated street date is July 31, 2012. ( Ecco/HarperCollins)

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