United States Of Amnesia

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on December 7, 2013









PG stumbled onto a podcast of Allan Gurganus speaking at a literary event in Key West. Mr. Gurganus, bless his heart, is a good writer. As a public speaker, the jury is not sure.

This particular literary event concerned historical fiction. Tom Robbins went on a tear once, comparing animal husbandry to history. With one, you combine blood lines to create a superior breed. With the other, you mix “facts” to create an inspiring story. With both animal husbandry and history, you are frequently up to your ankles in shit.

Mr. Gurganus trotted out a bunch of quotable lines. ”Liars like historians and politicians tend to overdocument.” ”Myth is gossip grown old.” ” … the term historical fiction sounds as pitifully redundant as, say, creative writing. … It’s like having ‘oxygen breather’ stamped on your driver’s license.” ”History is agreed-upon hearsay granted tenure.”

The first time PG tried to listen to the Gurganus speech, the cliche slinging got too thick, and the player triangle was turned into the parallel lines. Or maybe it was the parallel lines turned into the triangle. In any event, the speakers quit making sounds. This option is not available live.

The second time PG tried to listen to the Gurganus speech, the line about hearsay granted tenure stuck. Mr. Google was consulted, and found a nice website for the literary event. Another speaker at said event was Gore Vidal. When Mr. Gurganus, once again, wore out the patience of PG, it was time to download the appearance by Mr. Vidal.

The emcee said, “I don’t want to steal your jokes, but you said that this is the United States of Amnesia.” Mr. Vidal said, “I don’t remember that.” This is going to be fun. Photographs today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.









2 Responses

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  1. Local Souls | Chamblee54 said, on June 30, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    […] Souls, the most recent product from Allan Gurganus, is due back at the library today. PG is probably not going to finish it. Mr. Gurganus is much […]

  2. Allan Gurganus | Chamblee54 said, on August 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    […] not an ironist. That’s why I’m worth reading.” There had been a speech Mr. Gurganus made in Key West. After a while, the authorial wisdom became one platitude too many, and the file was turned off. The […]

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