Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reading-in-Progress: A Little Party Dress

I am in love with this man --- or rather --- his words. We have never met. And yet, through his book A Little Party Dress, lyric essays by Christian Bobin, I feel I know him intimately -- the workings of his imagination as one pathway into his soul. All this from only the first 13 pages. I thought I would spend the afternoon devouring him, but now I am fearful that this slim volume will end.  How can such a regular looking man have written words such as these? (Know in advance that excerpts do not do justice to his stream-of-consciousness pulsing of language; the essays are continuous like a dream sequence and sound odd without all their fragments together.)

"Then you open the manuscript to the first page, absently you begin to read. When you look up again, the afternoon has vanished, there's no more daylight but night has not yet fallen, there's nothing left but this long expanse of calm -- like the slow risings of still water, an endless and luminous tide. Your thoughts stay in this calm space as if this were the best space to be, a place of freshness and light: your thoughts no longer impatient or troubled, they merely rest and mingle with what is there, seeking to go no farther. How can one describe this lightness?"    from A Story Nobody Wanted in the collection A Little Party Dress.

Thank you, Amy, reviewer extraordinaire, of The Black Sheep Dances for this tip. I am besotted.


  1. I must give this book a try--what a great title!! I know that feeling of not wanting to read a book too quickly. I felt that way with Jim Galvin's The Meadow, and also, more recently, Nicholas Baker's The Anthologist. I kept having to look up and force myself to STOP READING!!