By Gilbert Sorrentino
Borrowing its name from a William Carlos Williams poem, A unusual Commonplace lays naked the secrets and techniques and desires of characters whose lives are intertwined via twist of fate and necessity, possessions and experience.
Ensnared in a jungle of urban streets and suburban bed room groups from the boozy Nineteen Fifties to the culturally vacuous current, traces blur among households and associates, violence and love, desire and melancholy. As fathers try and connect to their little ones, as writers fight for credibility, as other halves stroll out, and an previous guy performs Russian roulette with a deck of playing cards, their tales resonate with poignancy and savage humor—familiar, tragic, and cathartic.
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Extra info for A Strange Commonplace
SS We are hemmed in on all sides by mountains of problems : Damn anyone who thinks he could escape them, damn him if he thought he could do without thinking. What period in history contains and can show as an asset this des perate attempt to conquer, which takes place on the icy summits of the Mind. Translated by David Rattray ON SUICIDE Before committing suicide, I ask that I be given some real assurance of being; I should like to be sure about death . To me, life seems merely like a consent to the apparent legibility of things and their co herence in the mind.
As for myself, I described this painting with tears in my eyes, for this painting touches my heart. I feel my thoughts radiate in it as in an ideal absolute space, except this space could really be brought into reality. And in it, I fall out of the sky. And every fiber in me is unravelled and finds its place revealed in the predestined cells. In it, I return upwards, to my source; in it, I sense the place and position of my mind. He who painted this picture is the greatest painter in the world.
People who leave the obscure and try to define whatever it is that goes on in their heads, are pigs. The whole literary scene is a pigpen, especially this one. All those who have vantage points in their spirit, I mean, on some side or other of their heads and in a few strictly localized brain areas; all those who are masters of their language; all those for whom words have a meaning; all those for whom there exist sublimities in the soul and currents of thought; all those who are the spirit of the times, and have named these currents of thought - and I am thinking of their precise works, of that automatic grinding that delivers their spirit to the winds are pigs.
A Strange Commonplace by Gilbert Sorrentino