Friday, July 14, 2006

Play It as It Lays

I'm reading Joan's second novel, Play It as It Lays, for what must be the tenth time, or more. "What makes Iago evil? some people ask. I never ask," is how it begins.

A few paragraphs later, this appears:
"NOTHING APPLIES, I print with the magnetized IBM pencil. What does apply, they ask later, as if the word "nothing" were ambiguous, open to interpretation, a questionable fragment of an Icelandic rune."

Then this:
"I try not to think of dead things and plumbing. I try not to hear the air conditioner in that bedroom in Encino. I try not to live in Silver Wells or in New York with Carter. I try to live in the now and keep my eye on the hummingbird. I see no one I used to know, but then I'm not just crazy about a lot of people. I mean maybe I was holding all the aces, but what was the game?"

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