Indulging again in the prose of Adam Mars-Jones. As an introduction to the anthology Mae West Is Dead, Mars-Jones is doing a close reading, a dissection, of the protagonist from Nathan Aldyne’s detective novel Vermillion (and other characters too).
Daniel’s collecting urge verges on the obsessive; it leads him to break hygienic taboos (picking up a torn and filthy ten of spades from a storm drain) and even infringe property laws (stealing the joker from a Monte Carlo casino pack in a bedside table drawer). He has his choice examples framed or embedded in a coffee table.
He hates card games, and never plays them.
The full extent of the irony of this mini-portrait of a collector is appreciated best with its preceding paragraph describing the protagonist’s apartment.
So how does Daniel express his personality, in an apartment full of magically surviving plants, where the ringing of the phone can never announce an unexpected caller, where the build-up of dirt can never announce the passage of time, where the murmuring fridge keeps the stimulants in tip-top condition and the vegetable shortening waits under the spotless sink for the next successful applicant? He collects playing cards.
Description or re-description is an art and there is more in “Taking the Yellow View” collected in Blind Bitter Happiness and holding up very well over time.
And so for day 187