Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When I read Lydia Davis

When I read Lydia Davis I start to think like Lydia Davis. Or, to be more exact, I start to think that I think like Lydia Davis. How could I really know how Lydia Davis thinks? It's true, she has published several hundred stories in which her mind is on display, but I have read somewhat less than several hundred. I have met Lydia Davis, though, on two occasions. The first time we met was in Florida, and I took her to see some alligators that lived in a sinkhole. She was fascinated in an appealingly childlike way. She was also fascinated, again in an appealingly childlike way, by the moss in a nearby tree. In fact, she collected some to take home with her, although I warned her this would also mean she was taking home the chiggers in the moss.

The second time I met Lydia Davis she did not remember me. But when I reminded her of the alligators, she remembered them. So I am less memorable than an alligator.

Now I wonder what she would have said if I had mentioned the moss. Am I also less memorable than a chigger? 

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