Monday, May 6, 2013

Gut-Level Books

'Certainly present circumstances and coming events can be read from animal or bird entrails, if one has enough shrewdness of vision to bring to them.  Entrails are gut-level books with everything in them literally.  Horoscopes aren't in it with entrails at all.  Crystal balls aren't, and fortune-telling cards aren't.  The entrails of hot-blooded animals give the deepest readings.  The entrails of fish and squid give the most elegant interpretations.  But bird entrails are the easiest, and they are the most commonly used.  The beginner is urged to stay with bird entrails till he is completely proficient, and really there is nothing wrong with staying with them forever.'

-R. A. Lafferty, opening paragraph to his short story 'Haruspex' (1974), collected in Drumm Booklet #12 Heart of Stone, Dear and other stories (1983)


philiph35 said...

Curious to work out what links these terms: kershaw packrat, r a lafferty fourth mansions, samuel delany, tim powers, svord peasant, r a lafferty signed, opinel, lafferty past master, johnson barnaby, gerd korman.

The superficial answer is that they are the related searches which come up if you search ebay for "R A Lafferty"

Kevin said...

Been a while. Hope you and all yours are well. Did you read Andrew's post on Rain Mountain: with his reference to your blog?

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

Hi Kevin! Yes, I'm meaning to get back to you on your new Lafferty blog and meaning also to post some new stuff here. We're flying back to Scotland tomorrow after our month-long visit here in the States. I hope to have more time when we get back.

I haven't read that one by Andrew. I read about the first six or so - compulsively, in one breathless go - and then stopped because I wanted to read some of the stories he went on to write about before I read what he wrote.

Fun note: I've found five new Lafferty stories ('new' meaning that I've never read them before) on this visit to the U.S., all in anthologies that cost around $2 each!

More soon I hope...

Kevin said...

Hope you had great trip to the US and a pleasant flight back to Scotland! 'Twould be cool if the bunch of us Lafferty fans could all meet at some point--how about his 100th Birthday, November 7, 2014 in Tulsa. Andrew (if you're reading) do you know what Ray's favorite bar was?

'It was all strong talk with the horns and hooves still on it.'
(R. A. Lafferty, The Devil is Dead)