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Ebook Days Between Stations by Steve Erickson read! Book Title: Days Between Stations
The author of the book: Steve Erickson
Edition: Owl Books
Date of issue: April 15th 1997
ISBN: 0805050701
ISBN 13: 9780805050707
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.30 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1557 times
Reader ratings: 6.3

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Erickson's first novel set the stage for the themes, scapes, and styles that would recur throughout his later books, and showed him already firmly in control of his own particularly effective and evocative surreal strokes layered upon a textual canvas. Within a world in which the elements themselves are affected by the emotional turmoil of the principal characters, in which select colour schemes interpose themselves across time and space upon both nature and the products of man's labour, Erickson's protagonists swim against the tide of normal existence, engaged in a vast and reality-bending struggle for their battered souls. At the very heart of this tempestuous trial is love, filtered through the author's jagged prism into a rainbow spray of feverish obsession, fiery sexual passion, an interchanging positioning of dominance and submission, master and slave—one in which roles are ofttimes suddenly, and unexpectedly, exchanged—and which, in its habit of soaking into every fibre of the character's mind, body, and spirit, exerts an overwhelming power to drive all other concerns or distractions or obligations into the background, to make the beloved a quest that cannot be denied, even across death; a potent, immense, and invariably distorted fetish that wreaks its power to heal and harm across generations. That the son (or daughter) will pay for the sins of the father (or mother) is as close to a hard and fast rule as exists when Erickson sets out to chain his roiling creations to the page in ink-black bonds.

Adolphe Sarre—one of a pair of infant twins abandoned in turn-of-the-century France—is taken in as the clandestine house-son of an especially upscale and selective Parisian brothel. Growing up surrounded by sexually provocative and alternatively forceful and yielding women, hidden from the clientele, and knowing as kindred kin only the winsomely beautiful Janine—slightly younger than himself—the only daughter of a dusky and exotic fair-haired Tunisian slave (whom Sarre mistakenly believes to be his blood mother as well), Sarre—confined in his windowless chamber—develops a unique visual understanding of and power over light. He comes to comprehend the world as, in effect, a giant, living flat-screen—a cinema—in which, in Platonic fashion, the brilliant and searing light of the actually existing world projects its images and actions onto this two-dimensional surface; this projection has fooled us, the shadow puppets, into believing the world contains a depth and reality that simply is not there. When he is forced to flee the brothel after a nearly murderous intervention between Janine and her half-brother—Sarre, obsessively in love with Janine, is resigned to the incestuous curse he mistakenly believes his love to be tainted with—the strange-eyed teen eventually winds up utilizing his uncanny comprehension of light—and its various patent and subtle capacities both in our world and when captured by the camera—to become an enigmatic auteur movie director. Whilst filming his masterpiece, The Death of Marat, he casts Janine as Corday. As the filming spreads over years instead of weeks, the studio funding ebbs and flows while Sarre and Janine engage in a torrid and strangled love affair. Eventually, Sarre must make a choice between Marat or Janine—and the decision he makes—and the revelation he is given immediately after making his choice—will set in motion a disturbance in the very structures of reality that will echo and abound across two generations of his descendents—the children born by Janine during their heated tryst. Lovers will be reincarnated, love affairs reignited, by a sequence of dream debts incurred and payments rendered by estranged relations and restrung instruments that reappear on the scene, conducted by the mordant and arrant hand of fate.

Sarre's familial chain, and their impacted destinies, are bound up in the very nature of twins, of a single soul divided between two individuals during the process of birth. A pattern of one of the twins disappearing—and subsequently held to be dead—establishes itself across the generations, as well as a devastatingly melancholy cycle of return, in which this searingly obsessive love, this fixation born of the thrashings and caresses of lust, taints every path and decision and kin sprung from the tortured figure of Sarre. Nature itself is inveigled into mounting a furious attack against this time-and-death defying love—vicious sandstorms devastate a Los Angeles where Sarre's grandson, Adrien-Michel, is set upon a desperate struggle for possession of his fixated desire, the blonde-maned Lauren, wed to the incarnation of male beauty and infidelity; Europe is beset by ferocious winters of increasing length and severity, which freeze waterways and bodies with harsh unconcern; and the oceans themselves withdraw into sullen seclusion, creating vast stretches of new beaches and leaving cities like Venice, with its famous canals, perched in drydock far above bone-dry former seabeds. And everywhere electrical power is stuttering and faltering, blackouts increasing in duration and scope, while roadways and transport networks are abandoned to the new armies of scouring winds.

Erickson has always been an apocalyptic writer, able to find endless means to wring loss and grief out of his character's lives, in amounts large enough to drive them mad. This madness is always reflected in the landscapes, which take the shape and hues of a dream world, and unfold with the surreal and law-defying antics of the realm of sleep. Erickson never fails to deliver with these imaginative settings, and in Days Between Stations he comes through in spades. With the colour blue prominent throughout the pages—never more so than in the bit of sailor's magic that seemingly captures (twin?) souls from the air and imprisons them within a bottle of cognac—there are also brilliant distortions of time and its temporal treadmill, the imbuing of semen with the power to transport old spirits into the immature bodies of the new, to snuff out burgeoning lives and active memories and replace them with a honeycombed amnesia echoing the pained and longing ruptures of those on the verge of expiring. There is a cycle race in Venice, in particular, that is just perfectly, astoundingly constructed. In Erickson's warped and disturbing vision of the world, we are but travelers, often enacting pantomimes, determined to impose our own wills upon a world that laughs at these misguided displays of purpose and cowers us with its trump cards of fate and time. Even the simple act of uttering a solitary word can become an enormous and taxing struggle, the vocalization emblazoned with a deeper explosive potentiality the more it becomes entangled and stuck within the strangled hollows of the throat. We can run, we can race, travel halfway around the world in an effort to outrun our sins or delusional attempts at atonement—yet seemingly always wind up right where we started, forced to confront the mess we have created and be made aware of all the avenues of pain and devastation that have been paved while we were lost in flight. Sarre, in opting for the completion of The Death of Marat, not only abandoned his love, but all chances at completing the film that he wrenched from his lacerated spirit—and though the completion of this film would obsess (or revulse) descendants and strangers, it was doomed from the second he let Janine go. Out of the ruins and ravages of this very-human emotion Erickson always offers up a glimpse of hope—but only after setting in place a multitude of traps and illusionary snares on the road to embracing it.


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Read information about the author

Ebook Days Between Stations read Online! Steve Erickson is the author of ten novels: Days Between Stations, Rubicon Beach, Tours of the Black Clock, Arc d'X, Amnesiascope, The Sea Came in at Midnight, Our Ecstatic Days, Zeroville, These Dreams of You and Shadowbahn. He also has written two books about American politics and popular culture, Leap Year and American Nomad. Numerous editions have been published in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Greek, Russian and Japanese. Over the years he has written for Esquire, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian, Conjunctions, Salon, the L.A. Weekly, the New York Times Magazine and other publications and journals, and his work has been widely anthologized. For twelve years he was editor and co-founder of the national literary journal Black Clock, and currently he is the film/television critic for Los Angeles magazine and teaches writing at the University of California, Riverside. He has received the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and twice has been nominated for the National Magazine Award for criticism and commentary.




Reviews of the Days Between Stations


OSCAR

I read the whole book with a stupid smile on my face. General advice to everyone!

LEO

A charming book, a lot more!

ALICE

Interesting and nontrivial story

MOHAMMED

The best ... And the most interesting, bright, fascinating ...

SOPHIE

I really hated the book.




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