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But when I look more closely I saw that there were some irregularities. Nothing was labeled. Nothing was identified or no. The cans and boxes were all bad. The frozen food bins were full of brown parcels but they were such odd shapes that you couldn't tell if they contained a frozen turkey or a Chinese dinner. All the guards at the vegetable in the bakery counters were concealed in brown bags and even the books for sale had no titles. In spite of the fact the contents of nothing was known. My companions of the dream my thousands of bizarrely dressed compain compatriots were deliberating gravely over these mysterious containers as if the choices they made were critical. Like any dreamer I was a mission. I was with them and I was withdrawn and stepping above the scene for a moment. I noticed them at the checkout counter as they were Bros. Now sometimes in a crowd in a bar or a strait you will see a face of full blown and it's obdurate resistance to the appeals of love raise an indecency soloed subrogation under a general that you turn away. And then like these were stationed at the only way out and as the shoppers approached them they tore their packages open. I still couldn't see what they contain.
But in every case the customer decided what he had chosen showed all the symptoms of the deepest guilt that force that brings us to our knees. Once the choice had been opened to their shame they were pushed and in some cases kicked toward the door and beyond the door I saw dark water and heard a terrible noise a moaning and crying in the air. They waited at the door in groups to be taken away in some conveyance that I couldn't say as I watched thousands and thousands pushed their wagons to the market made a careful mysterious choices and were reviled and taken away. What could be the meaning of this. We've just seen in the rain the next afternoon the dead are not God knows a minority. But in Proxmire none of their own exalted Kingdom is on the outskirts rather like a dump where they are transported furtively as knaves and scoundrels and when they lie on it for neglect. Justin his life had been exempt for a book by any disgraced us all. The priest was a friend and a cheerful sight. But the undertaker and his helpers hiding behind their
limousines were not and not the root of most of our troubles with their claim that death is a violent flavored kiss. How can a people who do not mean to understand death how could you understand love. And who would have a Sunday alone. I went from a cemetery back to my office. The commercial was on my desk and had written across it in Gray's pencil very funny a broken down boy again. I was tired and repentant and didn't seem able to force myself into a practical posture of usefulness and obedience. I did another commercial. Don't lose your loved ones I wrote because of excessive radioactivity. Don't be a wallflower cadets because of strontium 90 new no bones. Don't be a victim of fallout when the top 36 trick gives you the big God as your body straddle from one direction and your imagination in another. There's your man follow her up the stairs and taste her wares in revolting detail while your flash goes off to Brooks Brothers of the foreign exchange desk which Iceman and barrack. How much you know is the size of the ferns the lushness of the grass
the bitterness of the string beans and the brilliant markings and the new breeds of butterflies. You have been inhaling the thick lethal atomic waste for the last 25 years and only a lexical can save you. I gave this to the office boy waited perhaps ten minutes when it was returned much again with a grease pencil do he route or you'll be dead. I felt very tired. I put another piece of paper in the machine I wrote. The Lord is My Shepherd therefore can I lack nothing. He shall feed me in a green pasture and lead me forth side the waters of comfort. You should convert my soul and bring me forth in the palace of righteousness for his namesake. You know as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thou art with me. I rot in thy staff come for me and I shall prepare a table for me in the presence of them that trouble me the highest in my hand with oil and I shall be for sure the loving kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house the Lord forever. Or.
Thank you. Well Reynolds does that craft any comments on. The. History of man lying there. What. I'm fascinated by the dream in it and the horse the whole notion of dreams and. The use of dreams in fiction. I don't whether it's violating privacy to ask but but did this story begin for you with a dream. Yes as you know the story never actually gets any very specific knowing that I think the dream is very important because in discuss affection people speak for very freely.
Thousands millions of children go to school to learn the forms section which Simi said that the literature really is simply a force of memory that is not properly understood. It could also be a force of madness that is probably understood but the proper shape it seems to me of any piece of fiction is about what you got on the proper configuration of a dream. One has one it has a rectilinear dream overall dreams but then you finally get something that really is right shaped and it would be that maybe what what you mean is that when you have a dream it seems that it could never have occurred in any other form of a list. This is this is the this is what seem to me to be interesting about what you just said. You can imagine it being any other way.
You seem to have a logic and never to belittle it and also become a symbolic value of it. What should reality would never be able to assume. Well I think occasionally does. I think this objection doesn't apply to your dream at all which I think works wonderfully with nurturing it is one of the problems about dreams in especially novels and that is they quite often look too good I mean David Rieff for that year the right dream for the right moment in the story or the other in that I just finished a novel which says some dreams and I found that all the dreams I had while I was writing the novel could very easily have gone into the novel and ended with the dreams that really were intensely related to them and to the material of the novel and yet when I thought of inserting some of them in it the very obvious places where they could have gone in the grave made them seem cooked and to good although they were literally the dreams that that I thought I'd had the night before.
Well I think in a great many hours that we all read there that dream kind of sequences years as a comment on what was supposed to be happening in reality you know some kind of it kind of a transfiguration of the action of the novel. And I think as you say a great many cases it seems to catch a commentary solution. What do you find no fun. It seems like the whole business of a dream and hallucination and fiction is one it's an assuming more and more important some facts some in some novels for example in the novel of Samuel Beckett it's almost impossible to disassociate the phantasmagoria of the protagonist mind from what actually is happening to him and I don't think he wishes to be that of being a separate eyes.
It seems to me that I sit down to make it but on the disc what is force and fantasy for instance there is a degree of fantasy which is the modification of true life. This also involves drugs alcoholism and so forth. But this is no. We have the. Force of the imagination which is an extension of presumed. Recount because love is a disaster. But I think it's very strong very strong and I think very creative but I think there is a line somewhere where the fantasy is poor where the fun is is not a proper extension of the boundaries of imagination which I think it's fascinating and
you and I always seem to have the but we have that time story. We have. And much of the day I go and watch it I say acceptable but to me there is a lot on this and perhaps not a lot of dotted along. I'm fascinated by the degree to which this is not a realistic story in the way that you've managed to have this this texture which suggests daily lives quite visible credible daily lives and yet the very strong sense of what the supernatural the another world that's pumping beneath it shouldering its way underground and and I think that that in this case that the Dream Works beautifully laid in the story to confirm the sense that this has been going since the beginning that one indeed is not. Simply a.. It's a standard realistic story world in which expected things happen.
Well I think so too but I don't it seems to me worth inquiring into as to what it is about the standard what you call the standard realistic stories and something say like Studland again and which in an anomalous amount of our day to day kind of detail of the way people actually do live in a section of Chicago and so on is no longer enough for people. People it is it is that fame that's easily worked out and then people get out of actuality in that sense and they want they want the encroachment of another kind of reality maybe even a hallucinatory reality to be superimposed upon this or break out of it as you say off as music no longer seems realistic I mean you know that's not to describe the life that we know that this is this is exactly what I was supposed to back that
there were two questions there. One of them is which was a documentary none of us in the tradition of drugs or who meant to document the period of his life or the period of prophecy knew it. The other is. I work what I try to work on with my other honest man a means to work in apocalyptic terms such as sexual intercourse once or another on every other page. And that is how romantic apocalypse exists only dealing with three or if he does he's inclined to repeat himself. My sense if you're if you're really going to a problem. What is mysterious and abysmal and exalting in life at least this is in my scale is to use the US military. These are real
things these are real tables these are real lights when they go off in the darkness Israel. But if the lights aren't real what one has to send back it since nothing is real what is lost. The constantly changing their bandages with their legs and made of paper. Yeah so it does not. Well I think one can write fiction in the terms in which people live and love humble terms such as going to supermarkets and so forth. But to give the sense of both its possibilities of the abyss. And selfish it seems to me that early on in the novel in the time of our own early on if they had heard the current hippy injunction tell it like it is they would have been perfectly satisfied that they were telling it like it is.
They were quite content as they were they would know that that dimension is no longer valid and telling it like it is does not appear to Pan and that we have a whole new series of published documentaries which have taken over some of the quite status because all those books of the authors or the names of the books but they have pretty much covered the documentary aspect. Fortunately enough of. Unless the rest of us to love the rest of us it's also also the definition of the South. This so is so much different in fiction and General that was I mean I remember when my wife when I was first going on a reading to him I said listen I don't know what I'm going to get up and read like these fellows like John Shiva and Colonel Preston and fun
and I'm out. My wife said to me darling it's going to be alright. You just you just stand up there and biggest south. And I said my god baby it happened and. It's never ceased to trouble me. But there was something like that function and fix a functioning infection too because there are so many so many different kind of creatures that inhabit each of us. It's no longer kind of a simplistic view of what one is and what constitutes the essence of a fictional character can be any anything it's just that's the great disaffection. It's the only form we have that to keep this curious mystery like well let's get some more of the curious Mr. Mr. PRICE. The other side of the tree.
What is that. I. Get it. Thank you. I should read two short pieces in prose. They're very short. Each is I hope complete in itself containing all the elements required for its comprehension. Both pieces however are of a verbal density which may not make for easy listening. I'll try to read them slowly and clearly. The second piece is a personal
Elegy which also has I hope the shape of a narrative. It's called life a life. The first piece which I should read is one of the group of pieces which I have been writing in the past year concerning the single character Charles Tamplin an American living in England. A would be writer and an accomplished fool. The entire group might in fact be called although it isn't a fool's education. The piece which I shall read now describes the end of a love affair. Charles dampens reactions to the hasty defenses against that ending the scene is the village in Oxfordshire and the surrounding Cotswold countryside. The references to bland him are of course to blend in Palace the seat of the Duke of Marlborough in Woodstock some ten miles from Oxford. The piece is called the happiness of others.
Library of Congress lectures II
Episode Number
Episode 8 of 9
Producing Organization
WUOM (Radio station : Ann Arbor, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3701. This prog.: Novelists John Cheever and Reynolds Price read from their prose works and discuss the state of fiction in the U.S. today.
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Producer: Library of Congress
Producing Organization: WUOM (Radio station : Ann Arbor, Mich.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-40-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:17:38
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Chicago: “Library of Congress lectures II; Episode 8 of 9,” 1968-10-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 23, 2023,
MLA: “Library of Congress lectures II; Episode 8 of 9.” 1968-10-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 23, 2023. <>.
APA: Library of Congress lectures II; Episode 8 of 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from