Thursday, October 14, 2010

It makes me appreciate the Phillies more somehow

Somehow because of the immense appreciation that already exists for the Phillies in my brain. With any luck they will be the most dominant hometown team a Philadelphia homer will ever see. Filled with great baseball, irrepressible and clutch and dirty and other adjectives. The Reds were called the Little Red Machine* this year but not any more. Also the Phillies color could also also be considered red, with the hats and all. Perhaps 'Little Red Machine' is a play on the actual team name and baseball history, but people who say that have never read The Giver.

The subject of the title of this post though is the prologue of Don Delillo's novel Underworld, and the raw enjoyment I derived in reading it. Delillo's prose is certainly more fun than 900 pages 15th Century Spanish in translation, i.e. Don Quixote. Anecdotally: I ripped through the 60 page Underworld prologue in one sitting the first time. And there is likely another reading coming before the end of the baseball playoffs. And then another some day in December when I really miss baseball. Televised baseball is everyday and then not at all, cold turkey.

Basic summary: Jackie Gleason vomits on Frank Sinatra's shoes while Bobby Thompson hits 'The Shot Heard Round The World' among other things. The other things include a kid who jumps the turnstiles and paper falling from the upper decks and J. Edgar Hoover. And now I've done more research, via a google image search, and the prologue was actually a separate thing, at one point, called "Pafko at the wall" until it became the Underworld prologue, at which point it became "The Triumph of Death" which is the name of the painting that J. Edgar Hoover is looking at because it fell on him while Gleason was vomiting.

Whatever, Delillo loves him his crazy style. And the ideas are funny/poignant. I'm no literary scholar, but I've certainly read enough to post about him on the internet. Airborne Toxic Event ain't just a LA indie band. So as jarring as it may be to jump from 1951 baseball to some broad painting 230 bombers in a post-cold war USA desert, you know its going somewhere. Like, I trust this author. There are going to be sudden changes in setting, and tangents about waste and sex and death and crowds and whatever else, but at the end, the audience is going to know what happens. Which really is kind of important when trying to tell a story.

*It's possible I'm remembering this wrong and the nickname was something less demeaning.


Anonymous said...

Oh! Classic Goats. I loved that book. But I didn't finish--making it only to some sort of weird movie and, if I'm correct, spray-paint artist. Which is very post-modern of me, the not-finishing. Except for the shame.


“…fans in the Polo Grounds throwing scorecards and newspapers onto the field as the day waned and the Dodgers approached their doom.”


"The Italians. They sat on the stoop with paper fans and orangeades. They made their world. They said, Who’s better than me?"

I trust DeLillo too. Mostly because he's Italian. And a genius?

Sean said...

I like this even though I am not sure what this post is about. Seriously, I read it through twice and I just dont understand. Although, the thought of you typing this out while on some sort of crazy whiskey/coke fueled binge into the early morning hours does sound pretty awesome. Like, it's comforting to know it is happening in the same way that I like knowing that Letterman is on every night, even if I dont watch it. You know?

thope said...

It'd make more sense to you if you had read the thing it is about, not entirely I'm sure, but more.

I will be by to get those tickets tomorrow, hopefully they will be worth picking up, pending the one-of-a-kind stylings of Joe Blanton, et al.