Four deer stood poised down in a valley as the train passed by, like four artworks in a museum, framed in the rectangular windows of the train, a tableau vivant that hardly changes no matter how many times the train passes, heading north or heading south, for the poised deer are the same poised deer that stood there a century ago, the streams ferrying their cargo of dead twigs are the same streams as two centuries ago, the trees felled and planted and tended and felled and planted and tended, and felled,
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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