Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Update on Browning

Just to add a bit to the story below: The Daily Pulp notes that the Miami Herald did add some new material to the PB Post obit it ran, so it was not totally ignored.

But, as Pulp's Bob Norman says, the Herald should at least put some of Browning's greatest writing for The Herald online. They quote a few paragraphs from one of his best pieces, a few-days-after assessment of the devastation from Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Yes, this was one of his best pieces. But the segment quoted doesn't have my favorite paragraph from this story, (entitled A Stupendous Desolation), which pointed out one of the things that struck me most in this horrific new landscape:

Indeed, southernmost Florida is one of the most astounding landscapes on earth right now, a stark mix of lunar desolation and solar intensity. It widens your eyeball, just to look at it, to behold the shorn Norfolk Island pines, notched and nude, with their last, few, "went-that-a-way" branches sticking out like signposts, pointing west where the storm departed.

And so much more: "...the destruction is so immense, the blizzard of rubbish so wide-swept and deep-drifted. How many maids and how many mops, the Walrus once asked the Carpenter, would it take to scour the seashore clean of all its sands?" and "The trailer camp looked as if each vehicle had been carefully, invisibly dynamited. Trailers, you discover from this inside-out wreckage, are nothing but a stout steel bed carrying a frail box of make-believe" and "There are no more roofs or right angles. Life is slantendicular now."



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