Tag Archives: Erickson

Harrowing Idealism

For all its close and intimate focus, These Dreams of You may well be today’s Great American Novel. Not just for its portraiture of universal American dreams and anxieties; not for its social scope; nor for its historical and political topicality, in which it deals in spades, but rather because of its painful sincerity, its […]

america

Though to the outer waking world Sheba’s dream is only a few seconds, in her sleep she understands it’s a long voyage. Poised at the ship’s bow, transmitting a distant song, she sails in search of the word that will name her, a word for those who’ve never belonged anywhere and who make their own […]

Crazy

“It’s a country that does things in lurches. Born in radicalism, then reluctant for years, decades, the better part of the centuries, to do anything crazy, until it does the craziest thing of all. But it’s also a country – inherent in its genes – capable of imagining what cannot be imagined and then, once […]

Vision

Those footsteps that once led to a river’s edge haunted him; he loved, as does every man who is born to a vision, that unseen future that his courage once failed. He hated, as does every man who is born in America, that irrevocable failure that his heart won’t forget. Steve Erickson, Rubicon Beach, 282.

ARC d’X

Will I see you again? he wanted to ask. But he was afraid of ruining everything. He left the circle, and after waiting a long time caught a bus on the road back into the city proper. Whatever I do now, he said to himself on the bus, staring out the window at the volcano […]

Days Between Stations

She wanted him to say something. She wanted him to say it was alright, but more than that she wanted some ridiculous sort of reassurance that somehow it all didn’t matter. The enormity of what she’d done hadn’t sunk in. She hoped he wouldn’t hate her, and she could take some relief in that, because […]

Ashes

I love the ashes. I love the endless smoky twilight of Los Angeles. I love walking along Sunset Boulevard past the bistros where the Hollywood trash have to brush the black soot off their salmon linguini in white wine sauce before they can eat it. I love driving across one black ring after another all […]

Visionary cinema

At the dawn of cinema these two tendencies were already evident in the split between the brothers Lumiere and George Melies, for whereas the former concerned themselves with realist spectacles such as the arrival of a train at a station or people sitting around playing cards, Melies invented the special effect as a tool by […]

Myself

Listen. I’m going to try one more time. I don’t promise anything will come of it, or that I won’t try to put it off for as long as possible, or that in the meantime I may not have to do something sensible first, like find Viv for instance. I don’t promise that the deep […]

Leap Year

America is where only memory divides the present from the future, and where the unconscious dreams of the people who live here understand that the Declaration of Independence was signed after Hiroshima, not before, and neither has yet happened (33).    People with nuclear imagination not only conceive of the abyss and confront it, but […]

Zeroville 2

“The thing is, that movie last night is a completely different movie when you watch it by yourself. Why is that? Movies are supposed to be watched with other people, aren’t they? Isn’t that part of the point of movies – you know, one of those social ritual things, with everyone watching? It never occurred […]

Zeroville

“You know, vicar,” Viking Man says, tossing away his half-devoured cigar, “for some reason I feel like maybe you and you alone would understand this, but God loves two things and that’s the Movies and the Bomb. Of all the monuments we’ve made to God over the last five thousand years, have there been any […]

Amnesiascope

L.A. is all that’s left of America the Delirious. Long ago, in the movie theaters of the land, L.A. collectivized the American dark; it cleaned up the depraved whispers and messier impulses of America’s deeper recesses and reduced them to archetypes or, even better, commodities. L.A. insisted that the subconscious didn’t own us but we […]