Fisher’s Hornpipe

‘It is sadistic love I have for you Fisher said to his possessions. All I want in life is my violin. And the Three Essential Pens. I want you naked! he shouted at his apartment.’
Just finished Todd McEwen’s Fisher’s Hornpipe. I left my bike at home deliberately so that I’d have extra subway journeys to finish it. If you’ve seen Withnail & I, about which I can be very tedious indeed, it may be enough to know that eponymous Fisher is a cross between Withnail and, well, I. It also reminded me of Beckett’s Murphy, which contains my favorite opening line:
‘The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.’
Fisher’s Hornpipe is out of print (I have a borrowed copy). As I raced through it, I made mental lists of friends to press it on once I buy my own. I have to be careful; it could damage the friendship if appreciation is insufficient. Jason can take it, certainly. Claire is mordant enough. Mark lent it to me, so he’s in the clear. Caitriona, Dan, Joy, Paul, Liza: you have been warned that a book report will be due.

    I All topics found humorous
    II Linguistic play
    III Overcompensated daintiness
    IV Shouting sadness
    V Out of body experiences
    VI Severe inert reverie
    VII Passage into the epiphanic stream

Here is Fisher’s assessment of my race, formed as he is tossed out of a Boston bar midway through stage IV.

    ’God the Irish thought Fisher drifting up and down the frozen boulevards. With their Guinness their Jungian music their raven haired white skinned colleens and their soft lilting voices they are put on this earth to put us to sleep and lull us toward Death! To charm us into a stupor and then hit us over the head.’

Suddenly my life has meaning.

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