Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dick as the Death

I don't usually include pictures with posts, as you may know. I even just recommended that Jen Humphrey (Up From the Ground, see below right) try doing a post without pictures. People usually use pictures, in blog posts. Sometimes they're illustrations. Sometimes they substitute for words. Sometimes they compensate for words.

Be that as it may, I'm inspired by having watched Frost/Nixon last night. Now, my admitting it's taken me months to see this movie is kind of like Howard Ringbaum's admitting he hadn't read Hamlet. I mean, I've written a book with Nixon as a character (in effect - see links at right).

What struck me last night is that Nixon is Death. It's as simple as that. He kept looming more and more during the Watergate saga. And when my mother died a few hours before he resigned, she didn't have Death to kick around anymore - & vice versa. As a kid, Nixon was a fixture - there all the time, like Death and taxes (or tax cuts, as the case may be). And our family was against him, because he was BAD. Then, in the space of 24 hours, neither my family nor Nixon were there. Weird.

I can't picture my mom on a rocky beach playing chess with Richard Nixon. But that's closer to my version of Thanatotic Dick than Rachel Loden's dead Nixon (in Dick of the Dead and Hotel Imperium), who seems like more like a revenant (and in her family, Nixon was Death in a much more literal sense).

But as far as the Imago of Nixon, in the kid brain, that's the missing link, I think.

2 comments:

Rachel Loden said...

Fascinating distinction you're drawing, Joe -- and at some point maybe we can tweeze it apart a bit more because I'm not sure the gap is all that wide. Though I think I understand the notion of Dick as revenant for me, perhaps guide to the underworld, whereas for you he really brings it. (Though as I write this I think no, he is death for me as well.)

Tricky thanatology! Wish there were time right now for this.

Joseph Harrington said...

Lawd! I'd rather Nixon be Thanatos than a Psychopomp (at least for ME!)