FI Question #18: Shall we dance?

by Tom Robbins

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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FI Question #18: Shall we dance?

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:37 am

Tom Robbins style of writing has been described as "verbal break dancing." Do you have a favorite passage that fits this description?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Gypsylee
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Unread postby Gypsylee » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:15 am

Okay, here's one I like: Page 54...

"I require lunch on a daily basis. I'm insured against non-lunch by Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and Blue Cheese. Finicky? Not this luncher. I eat the fat, I eat the lean, and I lick the platter clean. Normally, I do shun the flesh of dead animals. Live animals, as well: bestiality is not a part of my colorful repertoire, although that is really none of your business. But in the dietary arena, pals, I have nothing to hide, and would at this juncture gladly masticate and ingest Spam-on-a-stick if you served some up. All I'm asking is that you serve something up, and speedily. I become grumpy when denied my noontide repast."
:eyebrow:

I'd hate to take a trip into his brain...........you'd get lost!
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Veronica
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Unread postby Veronica » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:41 am

Gypsylee wrote:Okay, here's one I like: Page 54...

"I require lunch on a daily basis. I'm insured against non-lunch by Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and Blue Cheese. Finicky? Not this luncher. I eat the fat, I eat the lean, and I lick the platter clean. Normally, I do shun the flesh of dead animals. Live animals, as well: bestiality is not a part of my colorful repertoire, although that is really none of your business. But in the dietary arena, pals, I have nothing to hide, and would at this juncture gladly masticate and ingest Spam-on-a-stick if you served some up. All I'm asking is that you serve something up, and speedily. I become grumpy when denied my noontide repast."
:eyebrow:

I'd hate to take a trip into his brain...........you'd get lost!


this is what came to my mind!!! He just cracked me up when I read that. the image that came to mind while reading that & those men looking at him like he was crazy while Switters goes off on a tangent about eating! lolol Priceless! My favorite part of the book. I can relate to this..Im always counting the minutes til lunch at work. Never miss it.
Everything is always okay in the end,
if it's not, then it's not the end.

Today is a gift....Have Fun!

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luvdepp
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Unread postby luvdepp » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:45 am

From Page 307:

"Would God be satisfied to take loaves and fishes and itty-bitty thimbles of Communion wine, while allowing Satan to have the red-eye gravy, eighteen-ounce New York steaks, and buckets of chilled champagne? Whould God really accept twice-a-month lovemaking for procreative purposes and give Satan the all-night, no-holds-barred nasty "can't-get-enough-of-you" hot-as-hell f**ks?
Think about it Would Satan get New Orleans, Bangkok, and the French Riviera and God get Salt Lake City? Satan get ice hockey, God get Horseshoes? God get Bingo; Satan, stud poker? Satan get LSD, God, Prozac? God get Neil Simon, Satan, Oscar Wilde?"


He goes on for another 2 paragraphs but I don't have time to type it all out. Yes Gypselee, Tom Robbins' mind is a force to be reckoned with, isn't it? The above passage is such a perfect example of his thinking. It cracks me up every time I read it.
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby lumineuse » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:04 pm

From page 379:

Sorry. It's no big deal, really: nothing major, not anything that wholly justifies this interruption. And yet despite the fact that the truths in narration are all relative truths (perhaps the truths in life, as well), despite the sovereign authority of poetic license, this report, claiming no kinship to Finnegan, has, in the interest of both clarity and expediency, endeavored never to indulge in the sort of literary trickery that actively encourages readers to jump to false conclusions. So, while it may be overreactive in this instance, while it may even smack of the kind of self-righteous puritanism that is to genuine purity what a two-bit dictator is to a philosopher king, let us reach into the inkwell jewel box and withdraw two sets of exquisite superscripts signs _ "for the right ear, " for the left - and hang them from the lobes on either side of the word nuns. Like so: "nuns". This, of course, is not for purposes of ornamentation, although these apostrophic clusters possess an understated, overlooked beauty that transcends merely chic. (Do they not resemble, say, the windblown teardrops of fairy folk, commas on a trampoline, tadpoles with stomach cramps, or human fetuses in the first days following conception?) No, a stern word such as nuns is undemanding of a decorative trinket. We so adorn it here only to set it apart from other words in the sentence for reasons of scrupulous verisimilitude.



Wow!
Last edited by lumineuse on Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:08 pm

Those are some of my favorites too. Love the lunch one! That was a great visual picture. lumineuse I read that passage over about 10 times when I first saw it in the book. Blew me away that he could get that type of thought out of a pair of italics. :shocked: Here is another one of my favorites. I had to feel for the typist on this one too! :hypnotic:


Listen to the swarm that Be-lief and Be-longing have Be-got. B-boundaries. B-borderlines. B-blood B-bonds. B-lood B-rothers. B-bloodlust. B-bloodbath. B-bloody B-bloody. B-bang B-bang. B-boom B-boom. B-blast. B-bludgeon. B-batter. B-blow up. B-bomb. B-butcher. B-break. B-blindside. B-bushwack. Be-head. B-blackball. Be-tray. B-bullets. B-blades. B-booby traps. B-bazookas. B-bayonets. B-brute force. B-barbarism. B-babylon. B-babel. Be-elzebub. Be-etlejuice. B-Bureaucracy. B-bagpipes. B-beanie B-babies.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Gypsylee » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:32 pm

lumineuse wrote:

...although these apostrophic clusters possess an understated, overlooked beauty that transcends merely chic. (Do they not resemble, say, the windblown teardrops of fairy folk, commas on a trampoline, tadpoles with stomach cramps, or human fetuses in the first days following conception?


I wonder how long he had to stare at "nun" to get those visuals.... Someone with too much time on his hands? LOL! And DITHOT........I would have shot anyone who would have required me to type all those BBBBB things!! His thought process seems to go through a maze and he just follows it along to see where it ends up.
"In the time of your life, live....so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it." Saroyan

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Unread postby KYwoman » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:26 pm

TR's use of language is what really hooked me on him! I just love how he can string a series of words together with all its references, slang terms, made up words, whatever and it all comes together in some great passages. He just slays me! But, as with all good things he can go on a bit sometimes and I will find myself adrift in a sea of verbage (I found this especially true with Jitterbug Perfume). With that said however, I still would rather read a passage of his for sheer delight and joy! Amen.

Here's my choice, and actually I just flipped the book open to any page because I knew I'd find something. So, here is what I found: pg 145 a description of Seattle weather

"Like chip dip with a short shelf life, the imported Scandinavian sunshine had commenced to degenerate, reverting to the cod paste from which it was synthesized. Scud blew by close to the surface of the sound like dank puffballs of bacterial fuzz, and the men could almost taste mildew in the air. The atmosphere was leaden and thin simultaneously, as if composed of some new element that defied known laws of atomic weight and could be properly breathed only by lifelong residents of the Pacific Northwest. Feathery and innocuous on one hand, sodden and ill-willed on the other, it was the meterorological equivalent of Pat Boone singing heavy metal."
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." :motorcycle:

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Unread postby Veronica » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:55 pm

its been over a year since I have read this book. I am definately going to read it again after reading all this. :rotflmao: I am cracking up & I had forgotten how funny it was from cover to cover! Cant wait to get home to dive in & find more "verbal break dancing"
Everything is always okay in the end,

if it's not, then it's not the end.



Today is a gift....Have Fun!

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Unread postby surfmom » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:03 pm

"Verbal break dancing"--great description of his colorful and original writing. I read an interview (has this one already been posted?) where Tom Robbins said:

""One of the influences on my work is a popular song by Frank Sinatra. "I've Got You Under My Skin." Because he sings from the point of view of a man who is absolutely, obsessively in love. I mean, in love to a point where it's probably psychologically dangerous to him. Yet every now and then he will just start to play with the words as if they were baubles. And he'll be really playful and noodle around with the words for a while and then right back into extreme emotional passion. When I heard that song and really listened to that song I realized what Sinatra was doing in it. I had a realization that this is the way that I view the world. This is the way that I view my work.""

Oh, so your question, what was one of my favorite lines??

I just read Villa Incognito, so this one comes from that book. It is his ode to mayonnaise:
"All Carolina folk are crazy for mayonnaise, mayonnaise is as ambrosia to them, the food of their tarheeled gods. Mayonnaise comforts them, causes the vowels to slide more musically along their slow tongues, appeasing their grease-conditioned taste buds while transporting those buds to a plane higher than lard could ever hope to fly. Yellow as summer sunlight, soft as young thighs, smooth as a Baptist preacher's rant, falsely innocent as a magicians handkerchief, mayonnaise will cloak a lettuce leaf, some shreds of cabbage, a few hunks of cold potato in the simplest splendor, recycling their dull character, making them lively and attractive again, granting them the capacity to delight the gullet if not the heart..."

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:16 pm

Surfmom good to know he is in fine form in Villa Incognito as well since that is next on my Robbins list of reads. I love starting one of his long descriptive sentences, or paragraphs, because you never know where you are going to wind up! A maze is a good description Gypsylee.

Here are few more of my favorites, a bit more along the lines of favorite descriptive passages:

"the sea was the shade of blue that black could have been if it hadn't stepped over the line."

"A straggler, a solitary traveler, the last and final raindrop of the morning--unappologetically tardy, even arrogant as if on an independet mission its meekly conforming confederates could not possibly appreciate or understand--landed on the back of Switter's neck and rolled languidly, defiantly down his spine."

"There, white chickens scratched white chicked poetry into the sad bare earth, and a trio of pigs squealed and grunted, as if in endless protest against a world that tolerated bacon."
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby luvdepp » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:18 pm

surfmom wrote:"Verbal break dancing"--great description of his colorful and original writing. I read an interview (has this one already been posted?) where Tom Robbins said:

I just read Villa Incognito, so this one comes from that book. It is his ode to mayonnaise:
"All Carolina folk are crazy for mayonnaise, mayonnaise is as ambrosia to them, the food of their tarheeled gods. Mayonnaise comforts them, causes the vowels to slide more musically along their slow tongues, appeasing their grease-conditioned taste buds while transporting those buds to a plane higher than lard could ever hope to fly. Yellow as summer sunlight, soft as young thighs, smooth as a Baptist preacher's rant, falsely innocent as a magicians handkerchief, mayonnaise will cloak a lettuce leaf, some shreds of cabbage, a few hunks of cold potato in the simplest splendor, recycling their dull character, making them lively and attractive again, granting them the capacity to delight the gullet if not the heart..."

Oh Surfmom ~ I love that passage from Villa Incognito!! Hilarious!!

Mayonnaise comforts them, causes the vowels to slide more musically along their slow tongues, appeasing their grease-conditioned taste buds while transporting those buds to a plane higher than lard could ever hope to fly.

That man does have a way with words!!
"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself, who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on the shore and merely existed." ~HST~

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Unread postby axelsgirl » Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:51 pm

How about the description of Masked Beauty's gift from God?
"Hers was a singular wart, a wart among warts,The rotten ruby jewel in the crown of wartdom, the evil empress, the burning witch,the tragic diva of the wart world. .....Simultaneously feathery and lumpish, like a squashed raspberry, a pinch of dry snuff, a tuft of moss that a wounded robin bled upon, or the butt end of an expolded firecracker, it caught the candlelight and in so doing, seemed to enlarge before his eyes."
It goes on, but you get the gist of it, an earlier tidbit said that he writes his books one sentence at a time and doesn't move on to the next until he is completely satisfied with it. Talk about being in the moment!
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Unread postby Veronica » Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:54 pm

axelsgirl wrote:How about the description of Masked Beauty's gift from God?
"Hers was a singular wart, a wart among warts,The rotten ruby jewel in the crown of wartdom, the evil empress, the burning witch,the tragic diva of the wart world. .....Simultaneously feathery and lumpish, like a squashed raspberry, a pinch of dry snuff, a tuft of moss that a wounded robin bled upon, or the butt end of an expolded firecracker, it caught the candlelight and in so doing, seemed to enlarge before his eyes."
It goes on, but you get the gist of it, an earlier tidbit said that he writes his books one sentence at a time and doesn't move on to the next until he is completely satisfied with it. Talk about being in the moment!
axelsgirl



too funny axelgirl! You are so right about that. Robbins definately lives his life that way, doesnt he. All day today I kept trying to remind myself of that. Just appreciate whats going on around me. Observing my surroundings, the people. From going to the drug store, to the gas station & the people that I work with everyday. I found myself laughing at things. Just habits people have are funny. It definately takes away the need to be in a hurry when you just stop and pay attention to detail of things & people.


I finally made it home ..... How about this one:

"There were no bellboys at the Hotel Boquichicos. No bellman, bellwomen, bellpersons, bellhops, belloids, belltrons, bellniks, bellaholics, bellwethers, belles-lettres, or bellbottom trousers coat of navy blue."
Everything is always okay in the end,

if it's not, then it's not the end.



Today is a gift....Have Fun!

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:21 pm

axelsgril wrote: How about the description of Masked Beauty's gift from God?


I remember thinking Ewwwww, when I read that one! :yuck2:

veronica wrote: too funny axelgirl! You are so right about that. Robbins definately lives his life that way, doesnt he. All day today I kept trying to remind myself of that. Just appreciate whats going on around me. Observing my surroundings, the people. From going to the drug store, to the gas station & the people that I work with everyday. I found myself laughing at things. Just habits people have are funny. It definately takes away the need to be in a hurry when you just stop and pay attention to detail of things & people.


Thanks for the reminder veronica. Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't have to remind ourselves to do that! Maybe if we keep doing it will become second nature, that would be my goal. :-O
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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