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APS TOGETHER

So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell Day 2

October 16, 2020 | Chapter 3

We’re architecturally in a new space, one where the windows and doors are open air, and Maxwell makes a leap to… MOMA? How odd, suddenly, to be in New York City, looking at a Giacometti, and yet yes, yes, why not?



Shifting time, space, perspectives. Gazing at “a cross between a male ballet dancer and a pterodactyl” in a lateral move, utterly assured. One of many of these moves.



The giant Giacometti quote adds even more-- Maxwell inside this narrator reading Giacometti on transformations. In Maxwell’s Paris Review interview, he says when he saw that quote, he thought “There’s my novel!”



Into the half-space enters Cletus Smith; “I suppose I said, ‘Come on up.’ Anyway, he did.” And they walk and climb together in the bones of something.



“I didn’t tell Cletus about my shipwreck, as we sat looking down on the whole neighborhood, and he didn’t tell me about his.” I keep thinking of these silences shared, the walking with the father, this sitting and looking and being.



The chapter doesn’t end with the brutal reveal that Cletus had to identify the gun (the same make as his bicycle, my god), but moves to his mother, briefly.



Which, in a brushstroke, gives us a glimpse of her, but also provides a pause so that Cletus can freshly begin Chapter 4, which will contain important info on him.


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