A Potent Cocktail You Won’t Soon Forget

Fenster writes:

Consider those six glasses at the top of the UR page.

One part The Odyssey

One part Memento

One part Twilight Zone (A Stop at Willoughby preferred)

One part Waiting for Godot

One part Groundhog Day (extra dry)

One part Dark Victory 

Add to shaker.  No ice.

memory

Shake.

The result:

Memory, by Donald Westlake.

westl

Written in the sixties and published just recently, posthumously.  It is a different kind of Westlake.  It’s got a little of the potboiler in it, as the cover image suggests.  But it is a potboiler that slips in and out of profundity with ease.  And it is pretty damn disquieting, too.  What does it mean to go home?  What is your identity, anyway?

No plot revealers here.  I will say the book puts me in the mind of the tragic aspects of Spielberg (& Kubrick’s) A.I.

(W)e start by feeling the tragedy of David–that he feels from the inside out that his love is authentically his when it is “merely” a function of his program.  But we then move on to the tragedy of us–that we are not much different.

And also a little of Andre Gregory’s last words in My Dinner With Andre:

(P)eople hold on to these images: father, mother, husband, wife, again for the same reason: ’cause they seem to provide some firm ground. But there’s no wife there. What does that mean, a wife? A husband? A son? A baby holds your hands and then suddenly there’s this huge man lifting you off the ground, and then he’s gone. Where’s that son?

About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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3 Responses to A Potent Cocktail You Won’t Soon Forget

  1. Pingback: Movie Du Jour: “The Naked Kiss” (1964) | Uncouth Reflections

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  3. Pingback: Leviathan and Identity – Fenster und Gottfried überlegen sich die Frage

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