the moment under the moment

The real reality, the flickering of seen and unseen actualities, the moment under the moment, can’t be put into words: the most that a writer can do – and this is only rarely achieved – is to write in such a way that the reader finds himself in a place where the unwordable happens off the page.

– Russell Hoban

While I have been disappointed with the past few (admittedly masterful) efforts in his canon, when he is on he is light years beyond his contemporaries. Today was saved by walking along the shore, plucking away at his collection The Moment Under the Moment, short stories and essays and oddities from his earlier years, and rediscovering how much I love his genius.

Most of Hoban’s early-middle period are singular works of genius comparable to nothing but themselves. In particular, read Pilgermann someday. I still don’t know what that book was. But it definitely propels the reader into wondrous unwordable places.

2 Responses to “the moment under the moment”

  1.   michael
    April 1st, 2010 | 9:37 pm

    I got out Pilgermann today and read the first few chapters after eating a fair amount of raw garlic (in a meal) and falling in and out of sleep. It was pretty intense.

  2.   billy
    April 2nd, 2010 | 6:07 pm

    Yay! Pilgermann was my favourite novel for many years, back when having favourite things made more sense.

    Yeah, the start is intense. The whole thing is fairly… unwordable.

    I look forward to actually being able to have a conversation about it! 🙂