Saturday, June 20, 2009

La Dolce Vita

Leaving Las Vegas was just republished in Italy by minimum fax. It had been out of print there for some years. For any of my Italian friends who have not read the book, it is a very fine novel indeed.

Some months back, the publisher contracted me to write an epilogue, which I did. The contributor copies arrived a few days ago. Seeing John's work and mine back to back was so strange--and in a foreign language no less.

It was very difficult to write the epilogue without falling into a chasm of sentimentality. I tried to follow the model of Tim O'Brien, who so brilliantly scaled the Vietnam War by placing it next to a comic book and a packet of KoolAid in the short story "The Things They Carried." I took John's life, suicide and all the rest of it and scaled it next to his beloved Rolex and a handful of numbers.

Was it right or wrong? I'll never know. I just hope I didn't sully John's fine work.


Charles Lambert said...

I'll be getting a few copies for friends here, Erin, and I'll keep my eyes open for any reviews that aren't already linked to the minimum fax site. And I'm looking forward to reading your piece. I'm sure you'll have done a great job. Love.

DogsDontPurr said...

I'm sure he would be very proud of your contributions. When you write, you write with your whole soul and with love.

Big Mark 243 said...

I want you to know that I read this heartfelt entry, and was moved by it.

Earl Tesch said...

I think I'd be torn between sentimentality and supreme pride. His book and your brilliant writing are an opportunity to keep your relationship everlasting.

BTW, The Things They Carried is in my top 5 of all time.

Tony said...

Sully his work? That picture is oozing with everlasting love!

Anonymous said...

Tony x2. That's the best photo ever.


(S)wine said...

thumbs-up lady! i am informing my one friend and her new hubby in Torino about this. she's an English master's degreed educator so i'm sure she's at least HEARD of John's work. ciao ragazza! (antonionini loves the book, by the way. he told me last night)

Hal said...

I'm sure you only added to his work, and honored it (and him) too.

You have a wonderful gift, Erin, and as others have said here, I'm sure he's smiling down on you for all you've accomplished.