Where President Obama balances between will and inevitability, we find Buster Keaton, on commencement day, not charging ahead to shape a future, but pausing, vacillating, everywhere at once. Bumbling, stumbling, crashing forward.
LUMINOUS AIRPLANES is an experiment for living, a model kit for making decisions where the instructions have been left out, or poorly translated, or really never existed in the first place.
Over the course of her oral (and anal, and vaginal) narrative, the novel’s narrator reminisces on these and many other encounters in her list of lifelong sexual exploits. She is witty as a whip (and probably good with one too).
A cursory look at the canon of Western literature reveals author after author mining the drama of human locomotion while constantly imbuing the act with new meanings and significances, so much so in fact that the history of literature begins to look like a history of walking.
If there is something both moving and reassuring about looking back to the classics, to those texts, paintings, and sculptures of beauty that both precede and will surpass our lives and at the same time speak to us at a human level, what then do we make of the shell?
The genius of Manchette’s reimagining of noir is that his political sympathies never weigh the text down, but rather subtly reveal the resonances and inclinations already inherent in the genre.
Barnes approaches big questions about human relationships and finds no simple answers, but in setting his parameters narrow, he is able to dig deep, forgoing the pyrotechnics of ardor and the convictions of youth for measured uncertainty and emotional ambivalence.