We’ll Always Have Paris
Harper Voyager 2009
An abiding image for me comes in the short story called ‘Remembrance, Ohio’. A couple apparently find themselves in a hot dusty town, uninhabited. They can’t agree on its name — is it Remembrance? Coldwater? Inclement? — or which state they’re in — Ohio? California? Nebraska? All they know is that they have found a familiar-looking porch on which to sit and reminisce, although they can’t quite recall precise details. Their confusion is heightened by half a dozen strangers who are searching for them. To escape they burst through the front door of the house, and slam it, and turn.
“There was nothing behind the front wall of the house except strutworks, canvas, boards, a small meadow, and a creek. A few arc-lights stood to each side. Stenciled on a papier-mâché inner wall was STUDIO #12.”
It’s all a façade, part of a movie set built on some Californian backlot, we assume. For me this fleeting image encapsulates the spirit of this collection of around a score of short stories: Continue reading “Apple-pie surrealism”