Chris Offutt instructs us in time, from The Same River Twice

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Earlier today I finished reading The Same River Twice, the magnificent, wild, violent, terrifying, sometimes vulgar, sometimes gentle memoir (about the author's hobo years, about his impending fatherhood) by Chris Offutt. I sat on a panel with Chris once, years ago. I celebrate his No Heroes in Handling the Truth. I've watched him go on and write for Hollywood (True Blood, Weeds, Treme) and I've been glad when I've heard him (recently) speak of his return to literature.

You'll be glad, too, once you read this River excerpt, below:

I have never worn a watch. Time is a Rorschach folded into a Mobius strip turned inside out, upside down. Time is the name we give to the living. Modern science presents us with kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species—designating every organism on the planet. Once identified, it is ours, as with a nickname known only to a private few. Quantum physics has taken to naming the theoretical, much like concocting a name for an unborn infant. Nothing exists that is not labeled; like killing, it is our assertion over the world.
For more thoughts on memoirs, memoir making, and prompt exercises, please visit my dedicated Handling the Truth page.


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