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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Idiocy and Humor

In the critical work Something Said (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1984, p. 265) Sorrentino approvingly quotes Wallace Stevens saying: "In the long run the truth does not matter." Quelle foutaise! "Post-avant" writers, with their endless theorizing and their idol-worship of form, can make such total fools of themselves. I could never stand Stevens. But the Sorrentino work ends at a high point:

"The second is the joke about the Irishman who comes home to his wife drunk every night. A priest tells her that she should throw a good scare into her husband to cure him, and that night, when he arrives at the door, his wife appears in a sheet, and screams at him: "I am the Devil, come to take you to hell!" The drunk looks at this figure, and after a moment, says, "I'm pleased to meet you . . . I married your sister!"

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