Winter 1980 • Vol. II No. 1 FictionJanuary 1, 1980 |

The Death of Picasso: Het Erewhonisch Schetsboek: Germinal, Floréal, Prairial 1973

12 GERMINAL Anderszins 2 april. Fog until almost noon. Wild glare in lakes over the sea. It has been but a month from putting in the eight by threes, treated with creosote and laid a foot and a half apart in the long northernish rectangle of our cabin's base, construction fir let into grey marl on the chine of an island, to the last sheet of shingling on the roof. An island that, as Archilochos said of his Thasos, lies in the sea like the backbone of an ass, Thasos a ridge of primrose marble in the wijndonker Zee, our Snegren a hump of old red sandstone in the cold North Sea. Plain as a shoebox, it is little more than a roof, chimney, and windows. The Eiland Commissaris did not bat an eyelash when I registered it under the name Snegren, grensbewoner being the allusion he supposed. Sander has already coined snegrensbewoner, Erewhonian pioneer. If I had explained that it is nergens reversed, he would have made a joke about so remote and lilliputachtig an island being precisely that

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Guy Davenport (1927-2005) was best known for his short stories, though he also wrote poetry, translation, and criticism. He was a professor of English at both Haverford College and the University of Kentucky. As a writer, illustrator, teacher, and scholar, Davenport published over 40 books. He received a MacArthur fellowship, an O. Henry Award, and the Morton Dauwen Zabel award for fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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