When he finally drifted into an uneasy sleep, he did so with a feeling of shame and unworthiness gnawing at his insides. A collage of jumbled images coalesced in his mind’s eye. He saw himself at the helm of Bucephalus [a tractor -Ed.] driving a terrified pack of naked and enslaved Bakerites across a plateau. He was bathed in an ethereal glow with a Winchester thrown over one shoulder and his steed roaring like a Howitzer. To all sides, the mob scurried before him in buck-naked profusion: beer-gutted deputies from the Sheriff’s department stumbling over fallen cleaning maids. Hairy-backed trolls bounding along in quivering rolls of free-swinging celluloid. Crones with bowls of dead goldfish scampering over the sick and dying, stopping only to rob them of their jewelry and lap at their wounds. Roy Mentzer on all fours being openly sodomized with garden tools by the chain-gang in suspension. The student body from Holborn bleeding from every orifice, crawling along on their hands and knees, being trampled underfoot, tearing and biting at one another, pulling hair, gouging eyes, all fleeing in an obscene bow-legged panic toward the edge of a cliff. And John driving them forward as the shepherd in residence. Bucephalus screaming, the Winchester pounding, bodies falling, the terrain being marred, and finally the whole convalescent lot of them being driven straight over the edge. And their bodies falling like feed sacks against the open sky before being impaled, pounded and blown to bits on the escarpment of jagged limestone columns below. And John plodding along on the ledge high above, the panoramic display of the open sea stretched out and cascading before him, the dead mob strewn along the beach having finally gotten its cue and gone silent.

Man alive, do I love this book. Steal, kill, and pillage to find a copy, folks. It’s good reading.

§461 · December 12, 2004 · ·

2 Comments to “Great moments in literature”

  1. abou says:

    That is one of my favorite passages in the book. Fantastic I tell you. Fantastic!

  2. dan bloom says:

    RIP: Tristan Egolf . . .
    There might be a bit of PR hype going on here. The French website says
    that Patrick Modiano’s daughter by complete chance saw Egolf busking
    in the streets of Paris on a cold and rainy day and she later invited
    him to have coffee with her. One thing led to another, presumbably,
    and he showed her….his……manuscript…….which he just by
    coincidence had with him in his busking bag….and she at once fell in
    love with……it…..and went home and showed the manuscript to her
    dad the famous novelist Patrick Modiano who exclaimed, wow, this is
    some find, we must get the guy published before 70 other publishers in
    the USA who already rejected it give it a second thought…so he
    showed …..it….. to the editorial board at his publisher….who
    immediately read it in English, had it translated into French and
    voila, the novel appeared first in French in Paris, after the sad dumb
    stupid USA rejected this genius 70 times, repeat, 70 times…..and
    then with partner Picador in the UK, an English edition was born, and
    them the dumb stupid innocent childish USA which had rejected said
    manuscript 70 times, repeat, 70 times, finally Grove Atlantic, which
    is a cut above the rest, picked it up for US readers. But it all began
    on a cold and rainy November day in Paris when Marie Modiano by pure
    chance saw Tristan playing his guitar on the street and invited him
    home for coffee. Now does anyone really believe this PR hype that
    might have even contributed in some way to the writer’s early death ?
    Why ? Because playing fast and loose with the facts just for PR hype
    and marketing hype — the new Americaine genius ! — might have played
    into Tristan’s battles with living an honest life….

    PHOTO: http://www.taiwanho.com/people/dan/dan.jpg

    Tristan Egolf, a young novelist who had achieved some glowing reviews for his first novel, and some notoriety for his protests against President George W. Bush, has died, an apparent suicide, at age 33. As a Lancaster County Intelligencer report by Bernard Harris details, Egolf “was widely known locally as the leader of the Smoketown Six, a group of young men who were arrested in July when they attempted to protest President George W. Bush’s campaign stop in East Lampeter Township. The six men were taken into custody after they stripped to thongs and piled into a pyramid along Route 340 in imitation of an Abu Ghraib prison–abuse photo.” In the literary world, meanwhile, he had “received literary acclaim for the 2000 publication of his first book, Lord of the Barnyard with Grove/Atlantic, with whom he had published four more novels. Harris reports that at Grove/Atlantic, “there was an audible gasp from the women in the publicity department when told of Egolf’s passing.” Publicity v.p. Judy Hottensen told the paper, “He was an extremely talented, inventive and adventurous writer. He sold all over the world, especially in France. He was considered a rising star in the literary world.” His newest novel, Korn Wolf, was already completed and slated to be released soon.

Leave a Reply