Magnificent Dislocation (The Gunslinger, Introduction)


My reading habits aren’t really that conducive or practical: I mean, as I go, every few chapters [or so], I write – often babble and often briefly. Because I’ve come to the conclusion that my Daybookery ought be more regularized, I figured this stuff fodder-worthy. Categorized: “As I Read Them” – being books, chapter by chapter. The Gunslinger was loosely recommended me by Julie S., who I spied reading The Eyes of the Dragon; my local library hadn’t a copy of the latter, but I’d heard enough of the former to give it a go, and because King is among her favorite authors (and because she humored me in reading Pride and Prejudice, I thought I’d return the favor).

I think novelists come in two types …

I come about it as a fledgling with literary aspirations and inner-worlds brimming with Magic and Goblings and Forgetting – there are no damsels, but the good sort of scamptramps who make young men whirlwindy and old men what-iffers. So what kind of novel do I want to write? (And why the hell haven’t I written it yet?)

Three years ago I was brimming with hope and three years since I embody restless potential. It is beginning to occur to me that I will never be as cool again as I was at nineteen; you nineteen-year-olds are gloriously concerned with your hair (and I begin to fret at keeping mine) – but I am still too young to feel mortality, and I am undeservedly proud, and in this small town I am a titan chained to the farm and an old car who has developed an unpleasant personality: it doesn’t want to go out in the hot hot sun and its tastes have gotten expensive.

Like Stephen King, I want to write an epic, but I hain’t no thousand-page story (because most of them have been written, I fear), but mine would be a world of trainsmoke and dreams and, I imagine, grit and steam and scope held together by fairies who put nickels in your path or, when they can, make sure you do not spill your beer.

My religion at this particular moment is one of subjective reality and New England girls; so what if I live in the Disconnect (“the greatest thing from the North that come out of the south” – The Cramps). For whatever reason I feel old at just twentytwo. I suspected I would have written something of acclaim and that time was on my side, but the longer I wait the less capable I am (and tomorrow’s never a sure thing): I have no idea how things will turn out, and I don’t want to; while my imagination is broad, I haven’t the stuff it takes to see past Fall. 


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