Sky stood in the gray, sepulchral hallway of the University of Michigan library. He was early to return his Snorri Sturluson and Le Ménagier de Paris, both due at 8:00 A.M. And he regretted, he mourned, he pined indifferently, that those great structures of the heart must go back to the shelves in librarian time while he, Skyblue, waited in his skyblue levis, his Botticelli hair, his Billy Budd eyes, himself a gnomon of six feet and 150 pounds of undeveloped imagination, his nose aquiline, his ears quincunxes and his throat a pillar of cleanshaven agility. With all that he waited on the shiny gray stone patiently while the greasy heat rolled through the halls and fixed sweat on his trembling Hp. He waited and felt at home after twenty-five years of wandering. It was his place and he longed to be up and at the Njals Saga, for it was Spring and rosy-lipped aurora slap-dashed her frail tints across the moist campus. Sky stood in nonchalance, awakened and ready for the everlasting heroism of a fiction.
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
Subscribe for free: Stitcher | Apple Podcasts | Google Play