Do the Blind Dream?: New Novellas and Stories by Barry Gifford

By Barry Gifford

Do the Blind Dream? shows Gifford on the top of his powers, navigating very easily the hot, extra fragmented innovative panorama of morning-after the USA. Gifford turns out to have expected topics that all at once are recognizable all over: the fragility of identification; the facility of accident; the appearance of a safe tomorrow.

In distinction to his usually nightmarish, satirical, groundbreaking novels of the 1990s--Wild at middle, Perdita Durango, and evening humans between them--Do the Blind Dream? continues within the delicate and deeply introspective vein printed in fresh works: Gifford's memoir The Phantom Father (named a New York Times striking Book), and the award-winning novella Wyoming. From the intimate, stylistically bold exam of the darkest secrets and techniques within the heritage of an Italian family members, to the negative yet usually appealing fears and discoveries of youth, to the sardonic, determined confusion of grownup existence, Do the Blind Dream? finds a very flexible, hugely tuned sensibility.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sample text

When he pressed his cheek against the trunk, he felt the tree trembling and he could imagine its top again swaying in the wind. The tree could not see either, and lived for centuries. It had a different way of living. Lorge went to it many times although people often laughed at him because he had a new lover. But after three weeks he had the horses harnessed and was driven by his neighbour. This neighbour was a friend of his. He had been away at the time when Lorge had lost his eyesight. When he now saw the pale fat clod in the rack-waggon, he became very confused and afraid of fate.

Why did it snap, what was the reason, eh, given that it hadn’t rained? Either a rope doesn’t hold, in which The Bavarian Stories (1920–1924) 53 case you can’t hang yourself with it, or else it does, in which case you have to pull it apart if it is supposed to have snapped. It had snapped, so this affair wasn’t a suicide. Don’t say a word, not yet; I know the murderer’s behaviour was most unusual, even apart from the way he pulled his victim down again – he was able to, the branch was thick, a thick branch – he showed himself in public, he shouted in the street for everyone to hear, in order to get a gentleman who had been in Java to come to the window by night with a candle in his hand.

When a child took him out for a walk it ran off to play and he was seized by a great fear and was not brought home till late at night. Then the brothers who had been worried about him laughed and said: ‘You must have been with a woman,’ and ‘We can’t get rid of you, you see’. They meant it as a joke, being glad to have him back again. That night he could not get to sleep for a long time. Those two sentences settled down like squatters and made themselves at home in his brain which had become as inhospitable to the brighter side of life as a house without windows is to cheerful lodgers.

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