This past week, Mr. Bob Ray’s (North Carolina) wonderfully distressed motel postcard ignited a reverie concerning the litterary influences that inform the Mink Ranch. We forayed briefly into pulp fiction, especially of the 1930s & 40s, including Raymond Chandler, Jim Thompson, and James M. Cain, The Postman Always Rings twice in particular. Now we wish we had woven in Mr. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan.
Speaking of which, perhaps it has to do with some energy particle confluence of cosmic debris resulting from St. Patrick’s Day, our favourite contemporary poet (and did we mention he authored THE Charles Olson biography?) – none other than Mr. Tom Clark – has posted a stunning blog entry about James M. Cain with text excerpts, spectacular photos and, even if by implication, thoughtful insights.
Some day we will have the vast research staff Mr. Clark must surely have at his disposal in order to conduct that level of research.
Here at the mink ranch, we have been reading Tom Clark’s books since, well, since he first shared with us “How I broke in” not skipping a “Beat” through the Naropa poetry wars, the Olson and Dorn biographies, the sea-change of Paradise Resisted, etc. etc.
Of particular relevance to the Mink Ranch, though, is Empire of Skin – his epic chronicle of, believe it or not, the fur trade in the American West.