Sep. 18th, 2017

monk222: (Effulgent Days)
"The Paris Review" magazine tweeted an article about a baseball fantasy book by Robert Coover. He is the one who wrote that surrealist Nixon novel "The Public Burning" that has been on my 'wanna read' stack for years, and which I might get around to if only I had two or three lives to burn through.

The hook that caught me on that tweet was a picture of a baseball board game, complete with fan stands in addition to the field and pitcher's mound and bases. Back in the summer when I got into watching baseball games, I was tempted to buy such a set-up, a fantasy game with dice. The picture on the tweet was a lot like what I was looking at then at Amazon.

The novel, "The Universal Baseball Association", looks more intriguing than the Nixon one. An accountant loses himself in his evenings in his fantasy baseball league with his little board game and dice. It begins to take over his whole life, as all his players come to have fuller lives. The idea of losing oneself in an imaginary world is, of course, one of my top fascinations, perhaps second only to schoolgirls facing stranger danger.

The idea bleeds into my writerly aspirations to write up a fantasy world. Unfortunately, beyond fantasizing that I can write like that, my imagination has never been up to it, not even to begin such a thing. I am about resolved to that reality at this late date, but I am still intrigued by fictional treatments of the theme, as somebody should be able to put together such a novel for the ages, something that I can put on my shelves alongside "The Magic Mountain" and "Lolita". I'm doubtful that Coover's book is it, and novels in general haven't been making it into my reading life lately. I cannot remember the last time I read one, not counting rereadings of Candide and Lolita. Maybe it has been at least a couple of years. Poetry seems to have taken over my appetite for fiction. I may never get around to Coover in this lifetime.

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