Some friends, a couple, had us over for dinner one cold, cold evening in New York. We were having the usual catching-up chit chat over wine and preliminary finger food — trips taken, health of elderly parents, the usual. The husband, a doctor, mentioned a friend who had found himself in a terrible situation: The man had been driving upstate, had fallen asleep and his car had overturned. The man’s girlfriend, a woman he was on the verge of leaving, was very seriously injured.
You know how it’s said that a writer in an accident will note exactly how the blood pearls as it pours out of a wound, will record the precise angle of a broken limb? I knew instantly that I would write about this incident. Man, I took in every fine detail. It was so Ethan Frome.
“It’s a deliberate weird hybrid.
A long mixed metaphor. A kind of catachresis.”
Five years later, I took the basic frame of the facts, added a bit of fiction, and forged the language of one medium on to another. I’m not sure what to call the resulting piece. It’s a deliberate weird hybrid. A long mixed metaphor. A kind of catachresis.
The piece seemed so odd to me that I’d kept it on my hard drive since the spring of 2003. I recently sent it out, and it was published. You can read it here in Switchback, an online literary magazine.
[tags] Ethan Frome, catachresis[/tags]