From these artistic cross-currents of cut-glass form and lurid content, the book achieves a distinctive balance: After letting the field lie fallow for a while, he has sporadically leaked the odd craft essay, the stray story, to top-shelf North American journals, appearing twice in the Best Canadian Stories series For all its antic form and interpersonal dysfunction, Savage Love remains somehow low key:
Everything Starts at a Bookstore I was supposed to meet Zoe for lunch at a chic Parisian restaurant she had discovered on the Internet, a crucial rendezvous during which I intended to propose marriage, but I was running late.
A fierce, cold rain lashed down suddenly as I bounded up the Metro steps, rain as I had never experienced before. It drove me back into the underground, where dozens of African Parisians discussed the weather in languages other than French.
I glanced at my watch and leaped up the stairs again, blinded by the torrents of rain. Wind whipped the leafless plane trees along the avenue. I spotted a flower shop and ducked in, thinking to buy a bouquet for my love.
But I must have slipped through the wrong door, for I found myself in a neat, closet-like secondhand bookstore with dark oak shelves marching back toward an ancient desk fortified with parapets of leather-bound tomes.
I hovered, dripping in the doorway, loathe to enter and perhaps spatter some valuable books with water but also reluctant to dive back into the deluge. I wiped rainwater off my watch face, frantic with vexation and indecision. At length, an elderly gnome, about three feet high, with white braids wrapped like wheels at the side of her head, shuffled from behind the desk in what looked like wooden clogs.
Everything smelled of dust, mildew, and creosote. Her skin was the color of ash. The high ceiling seemed wreathed in smoke. She dragged anciently toward me, taking hours, it seemed, with a small book clutched in two veined and corded hands the color of mahogany. She extended her arms, offering the book to me, almost toppling over as she held it out, her blue lips working wordlessly, foam at the corners of her mouth.
But her watery blue eyes darted intelligently, anxious and beneficent. A folded slip of paper fell from the book as I reached for it. Then I had to grasp the old crone by the shoulders to prevent her from falling as she vainly tried to catch the escaped sheet before it landed on the damp floor.
I could already see the blue cursive letters soaking through the yellowing page. I snatched it up by a corner and flung it open, hoping to preserve the message, but the letters were beginning to run. The penmanship was bold, what used to be called copperplate, the words were, surprisingly, in English.
They disappeared as I read them. I belong to you for eternity. I take your sins for my own. I will suffer the punishment and happily wait for you in the Afterlife. But, my heart, if I could just see you once more before I go, it would be so much easier to bear.
At the Gare at seven under the clock. The ink was pale with age. I had never read it.Douglas Glover, author of Elle, on LibraryThing. Douglas Glover, author of Elle, on LibraryThing Attack of the Copula Spiders: Essays on Writing 20 copies; Dog Attempts to Drown Man in Saskatoon 17 copies; Why I Decide To Kill Myself And Other Jokes.
Description. A Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year, In the tradition of E.M. Forster, John Gardner, and James Wood, Douglas Glover has produced a book on .
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