You know when you crack open a book and in one sentence are caught up in the spell of an author's voice and grip and eagerly relax as you know you are going to gladly be transported to wherever the storyteller confidently chooses to take you?
"Dr. Rankin was a lage and rawboned man on whom the newest suit at once appeared outdated, like a suit in a photograph of twenty years ago. This was due to the squareness and flatness of his torso, which might have been put together by a manufacturer of packing cases. His face also had a wooden and a roughly constructed look; his hair was wiglike and resentful of the comb. He had those huge and clumsy hands which can be an asset to a doctor in a small upstate town where people still retain a rural relish for paradox, thinking that the more apelike the paw, the more precise it can be in the delicate business of a tonsillectomy."
- De Mortuis
"A rural relish for paradox" - wonderful!
Thanks to Peter Lang for introducing me to the delightful worlds and imagination of John Collier. As a fan of the fantastic and a wanderer amongst the wonderful, I have no idea how this writer and his work stayed off of my radar screen for lo these many years. What were those English teachers at the Latin School of Chicago and Wesleyan University thinking to not include a writer like Collier in their cirriculum?
Thanks to the New York Review of Books publishing imprint for collecting these fanciful stories and bringing them back in print for the 21st century - with a fan's appreciation of an introduction by Ray Bradbury no less!
Apparantly one of Collier's epic but never realized achievements was his screenplay adaptation of Milton's "Paradise Lost" - which he dubbed Cinema of the Mind. It would take more than a "rural relish for paradox" to think that we are currently living in an Age of "cinema of the mind" (many other body parts would more quickly spring to mind), but imagine if some brave filmmaker and adventurous studio would boldly take up Collier's mantle today!
Who would your choice be to play Adam? Eve? Moloch? Satan? Beelzebub?