The Women | Chapter 41 of 41 - Part: 1 of 14

Author: T. Coraghessan Boyle | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 10560 Views | Add a Review

Please hit next button if you encounter an empty page

1 Wrieto-San in the original.

2 Unidentified male; perhaps one of his acquaintances from earlier, happier days in Chicago society.

3 Call him Albert Bleutick for convenience’s sake, a man of median height, median coloring, with a medial swell of paunch and a personality that was neither dominant nor recessive, a companion of the second stripe, one who could be relied upon to pick up the tab at lunch and actively seek out tickets to the ballet, the symphony, the museum. His was the fate of all minor characters in a major life: to perform a function and exit, as colorless as the rain descending on the dreary gray streets on a day that might as well have rinsed itself down the drain for all anyone cared.

4 I knew her at Taliesin as a sour, thin, humorless woman, tubercular in that first year, busy, always busy with the work of the place, scrubbing, hanging out clothes, hoeing in the garden and splitting wood for the stove, the furnace and the seventeen fireplaces we kept going eternally for the poor heat of them in that cavernous edifice, but she was a girl once, and in love. Grant her that.

5 Wrieto-San in the original, and ff.

6 Georgei Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, 1866 (?) -1949. Philosopher, composer, shaman, hypnotist. Magnum opus: Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. Espoused lifelong doctrine called “The Work,” a muddled philosophy of being with its own mythos and cosmology that attracted to him a ring of disciples whom he arbitrarily embraced and cast out of the fold. He was at Taliesin in 1938, I believe it was, a shambling ancient Armenian Turk or Gypsy of some sort with an accent so impenetrable he might as well have been talking through a gag. I remember seeing him off in the distance each morning, a bundle of animated rags conferring with Mrs. Wright while Wrieto-San fumed in the studio.

7 One of those curious overheated phrases of O’Flaherty-San, which we will let stand.

8 Zona Gale, author of popular appeasements such as Miss Lulu Bett, who was then at the height of her fame, and more marginally, her beauty. But she kept cats and had claws of her own. And, of course, like all novelists, she had unrealistic expectations.

9 Officially, the Gurdjieff Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, an oxymoronic designation, it seems to me.

10 Vlademar Hinzenberg. An architect. A Russian.

11 Wrieto-San was a great one for holidays—Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas—and if there was no holiday in sight he would invent one to suit him, the Fundament of June, Midsummer’s Eve, the Pillars of March, the stronger the whiff of paganism the better. He was an inveterate arranger too, forever fussing over his furniture and objets d’art, and he threw himself into holiday decoration with all the fierceness of his unflagging energy (an energy, unfortunately, that often manifested itself in a sort of superhuman volubility that made it difficult to be around him for more than an hour or two at a time).

12 “The Elf King.” And what could be more appropriate?

13 Maude Miriam Noel, 1869-1930. Southern belle, sculptress, dilettante. Wrieto-San’s second wife. I never met her personally, but Billy Weston described her to me in some detail. “She was trouble,” he said. And then he used one of those peculiarly apposite American expressions—such a trove, the English language—“She was,” and he paused a moment to stare off into the distance, as if his brain, the actual organ, were being radically compressed by the squeezebox of the memory, “real hell on wheels.”

14 Of course, O’Flaherty-San is flexing his imagination here, trying to see things as Miriam would have seen them. I suspect the driver was what is known as a Chicano, a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent—or, perhaps, as my Spanish dictionary has it, a caudillo, a member of the Latin American ruling class whose blood remains relatively undiluted, making for fairer skin, but one wonders what such a man would be doing behind the wheel of a cab. On the other hand, he may have been Italian, after all.


user comment image
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

Post a Review/Request a Book

500+ SHARES Facebook Twitter Reddit Google LinkedIn Email
Share Button