04 April 2007

Riffing Ellroy

Local bookstore. Good crime section. Sniffing old MacDonalds. John D., not Ross. Destination Morgue! by Mr. J. Ellroy out of place on a stack. Grab it, riff it, buy it, read it. Staccato prose like machine gun bursts. Autobiography as pulp fiction. Memoir, commentary, reportage. Crime files. LA. LA as blood, as oxygen, as bread and water. Time and place and past and present form their own logic, their own sequence. Meditations on life and death, love and sex, crime and punishment. Compassion. Contrition. Redemption. Fate. Consequence. Vengeance. Hell and Purgatory. Almighty God. It's Mr. Toad's Wild Ride for the Soul. It's James Ellroy, Professor Emeritus of the Hard-Boiled University, and he's rapping the lectern so pay attention, finals are next week, and then it's over, baby, class dismissed.

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