Sunday, March 29, 2009
THE LIME TWIG by John Hawkes
John Hawkes's The Lime Twig is a beautifully written, imagistically rich, highly elliptical novella that has certain atmospheric similarities to the films of David Lynch. The combination of high art lyrical prose and lowbrow crime genre subject matter creates an interesting tension, and the entire work is an intriguing performance that demands re-reading. I suspect a second reading won't, however, clear up some of the apparent gaps in the story. Hawkes's narrative style is deliberately obscure, intentionally over-elliptical in places. He seems to deliberately leave out too much narrative connective tissue, forcing the reader to 'see' his scenes through a veil, like the fogs, steam, etc. that recur in the story. Narrative is problematized, genre is deconstructed, but more interestingly, a beautiful, original novel is written, and I know I'll return to it. It's good enough.