Thursday, August 6, 2015

Meanwhile, In A Dull White Void

"Hey Ted," said Fred.

"Hey Fred," said Ted.

"What are you reading these days, Ted?"

"Fred, I've been trying to read John O'Hara."

"John O'Hara? Why, Ted?"

"Because Damon Knight had some good things to say about O'Hara's technique with short stories."


"Yeah. I really admire Damon Knight, and I respect his opinions. But you know, Fred --"

"No, I'm Ted. You're Fred."

"Oh, right," said Ted. "But you know, Fred, I'm having my doubts."


"Princeton doubts. Harvard doubts. Yale doubts."

"Those are some of the biggest doubts of all, Fred."

"Yeah, Fred, they are. Big prestigious Theta Delt Princeton doubts. You see, this O'Hara guy writes many stories that are nothing much more than dialogue."

"Dialogue, Ted?"

"Endlessly repetitive dialogue, Ted. No matter where a story might be set, the textures of the prose are always the same, and there's never any sense of place. People might be discussing universities and consumer items in a void."

"That sounds a bit stifling, Doris."

"It is, Bob. There's not much sense of a world in his work, and the people seem kinda thin. But they went to good schools. And they dress pretty good."

"I guess he's just not the sort of writer for me. Wanna play golf, Al?"

"Sure thing, Al. I wanna try out my new Honma Golf’s Five Star Set golf clubs."

"Wow! They start at five thousand and four hundred dollars each."

 "Those are the ones, Kit. They'll come in handy when I go to Yale."

"Oh... Esther... I wish I could have gone to Yale."

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