Friday, February 28, 2014

Random Annotations: The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O


It's a quiet Friday and I have no news.  So I thought I'd begin an occasional series called Random Annotations, comments about aspects of my own fiction.  Here's the first:

The last paragraph of "The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-O" contains two elements worth noting.  The paragraph, in its entirety, is as follows:

He kick-started the Harley and with a roar they pulled out into traffic.  Crow cranked up the engine and popped a wheelie.  Off they sped, down the road that leads everywhere and nowhere, to the past and the future, Tokyo and Short Pump, infinity and the corner store, with Annie laughing and unafraid, and Crow flying the black flag of himself.

Short Pump:  A small town outside of Richmond, Virginia.  When I lived in Seven Pines, not far away, it was an easy joke, the ultimate small town.  Since, alas, it has grown considerably.

. . . and Crow flying the black flag of himself:  This is the only line in my entire body of work which exists in two forms, one written and the other oral.  When I do a reading of the story, the word Crow is repeated three times: ". . .  and Crow, Crow, Crow flying the black flag of himself."  Why?  Try reading it out loud.

Above:  I saw this road in rural Maryland a few days ago.  Annie and Crow are archetypes, of course, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that they cast shadows and echoes throughout reality.



Peter Heck said...

I may be the only person reading this who recognized that road sign. It's about five miles from my home.

Michael Swanwick said...

Marianne and I thought of you guys. We'd have dropped by but didn't have your street address.

Unknown said...

I love that story of yours. It's like the gritty, street smart cousin of Zelazny's Manna From Heaven.

Unknown said...

There are so many recognizable archetypes in western culture, perhaps partly because we're such an 'individualistic' one. But apparently the idea of Crow and the Trickster has analogs in every culture from American Indians to the Norse to Asia to the Bushmen. What a marvelous and poetic story, Michael… thank you!

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