I see this text consisting of a heart and appendages.
The heart = the funeral.
The appendages = the memories (of what it’s like to be a kid & of previous dating experiences) – plus the experiences at the roadside attractions.
Oddly, the heart (the funeral section) seemed to be of tangential importance. What seemed to hold the most significance, for me anyways, were the appendages. But perhaps that observation says more about me as a reader – and what I see as a tension between reality and imagination – than about the text itself.
As a reader, I generally tend to dislike conventional realism because I find it uninteresting to read a transcript of a situation that could feasibly occur in the ordinary reality in which I live: in the case of A Jello Horse it would be what I am calling the heart — the transcript of driving to a house party, playing pinball, going to a funeral, going to a health clinic, etc. And to be honest, I can’t really understand why other people don’t feel the same negative reaction to this kind of realism. I mean, we already share this ordinary existence, why would I want someone to tell me about their version of it? That would be like someone giving me a running commentary while I’m watching a Lakers game. It’s like: dude, I’m watching it with you, I don’t need you to tell me your version of it – I already have my version, which I will always value greater than anyone else’s version. What I don’t have is whatever strange imaginary things other people hide in their heads, which is one of the primary reasons I turn to literature in the first place.
May 27th, 2009 / 7:57 pm