Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Secret masterpiece …

… B-Sides: Charles Portis’s “Gringos” | Public Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Evangelizing readers of Portis tend to come up with elevator-pitch analogies on the order of He’s like Mark Twain meets Cormac McCarthy! I will grant that if McCarthy had a sense of humor and Twain had lived long enough to write about sticky clutches and post-hippie drifters, together they might have come up with Jimmy’s comment on blasting an antagonist in the face at close range with two shotgun barrels of No. 2 goose shot: “I wasn’t used to seeing my will so little resisted, having been in sales for so long.” But such comparisons can do only partial justice to Portis.

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