Lucy Ellman should MARRY Rick Moody. I don’t care if they’re already married to other people. I don’t CARE if there’s a significant age difference one way or the other. I don’t they care if they live on different CONTINENTS. They DESERVE each other. They can have long CONVERSATIONS in which she SHOUTS like that guy who played George Constanza’s father on Seinfeld and he replies in whispers and hisses.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, Lucy Ellman peppers her prose with a lot of words in ALL CAPS. Rick Moody likes italics. I enjoy both writers but man, that stuff can really lift you out of the text. And that may be the point, come to think of it. Who knows. I’d like to hear them read.
I can imagine how Ellman would read her stuff (see shouty Seinfeld guy) but I’m often at a complete loss about how Moody’s text would sound. Does he ignore the italics when he reads aloud? Or does he read the italicized sections more slowly than the rest, and enunciate them more clearly? Does he speak loudly or softly? I can’t stand the not-knowing! If you’ve heard either of them read, please drop me a line at stephka at maudnewton dot com.
Update! The Old Hag‘s Jimmy Beck just wrote to say:
I’ve heard Rick read on a couple of occasions. The italics don’t really come through, save perhaps for a little clench of the jaw and a s-l-o-w enunciation. What I really remember about those readings (“The Ineluctable Modality of the Vaginal” and the story about the rare book catalog–name escapes me) was that they were quite good humored; he really seemed to be playing for laughs. A far cry from the solipsistic melancholy that Peck and others have attached to him.
Thank you, Jimmy. I LOVE you.