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Vernon Subutex Trilogy

Songs build little rooms in time
And housed within the song’s design
Is the ghost the host has left behind
To greet and sweep the guest inside

David Berman, “Snow Is Falling in Manhattan”


I know, I know: the Vernon Subutex trilogy is set in Paris, and could not be set anywhere except Paris. I also know that Manhattan is not Paris. But.

The first time I heard “Snow Is Falling in Manhattan” all I could think about was former GenX record store owner Vernon Subutex couch surfing after his rock star friend and benefactor dies (either by his own hand or someone else’s), leaving Vernon with no means, slender or otherwise. This is the catalyst for the journey within the story, as Vernon is evicted and forced to become a permanently peripatetic guest of friends all over Paris.

He becomes something else entirely in Vernon Subutex 2. As for the final installment of the trilogy, it’s not due in the States until next year. This will give me ample time to re-read the first two books while wishing I could experience them for the first time again.



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Us and Them

(H/T Bridie O’Feckin McSlappy)


“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony–Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?”

Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front