…is a good way to describe the narrative effort of my current project: the recollections (fictional) of an escaped slave in Henry David Thoreau’s company. There are some wonderfully uncommon words here—words I know I’ve never spoken out loud like phenakistoscope and phalanstery— as well as the characters of Emerson, Hawthorne and a sprinkling of other Transcendentalists. As an erstwhile English major, I say 👍🏼.
That was the word in the text, described also as “a raspberry.” A conundrum: how to pronounce it?
A good book tells many tales, some of them so small you don’t immediately notice the weight they carry. To wit, this incidental scene from Curtis Wilkie’s Dixie, in which Robert Kennedy stops unannounced in the all-black township of Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and makes a human connection.