|Herb íní Lorna (A Love Story)||by Eric Kraft, as Peter Leroy|
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For Bill íní Edna
The idea that one has long held of a person is apt to stop oneís eyes
and ears; my mother, for three whole years, had no more noticed the salve
with which one of her nieces used to paint her lips than if it had wholly
and invisibly dissolved in some clear liquid; until one day a streak too
much, or possibly something else, brought about the phenomenon known as
supersaturation; all the paint that hitherto passed unperceived was now
crystallized, and my mother, in the face of this sudden riot of colour,
declared, in the best Combray manner, that it was a perfect scandal.
One never knows, do one?
Venn diagrams, named for the English logician John Venn, who devised them in 1880, depict graphically the relationships defined by logical statements about classes of things and, in the words with which the great Polish-American metamathematician Alfred Tarski began his discussion of operations on classes in his Introduction to Logic and to the Methodology of the Deductive Sciences, ďcertain operations which, if performed on given classes, yield new classes.Ē Over the years, it has occurred to me that a similar kind of diagram, the Dorset Diagram if I may be permitted to call it that, can be used to depict the relationships that certain operations establish between people; specifically, the Venn diagram that depicts the product of the multiplication (in the logical sense) of two classes can be used to depict the product of that complex operation (or, to be more accurate, set of operations) that we call love, operations that join two people, bind them, link them. The linking image is particularly nice, I think, because the diagram resembles two linked rings. . . .
Over the years some loversí circles become so overlapped that only the
thinnest crescents of lunes remain at the outer edges . . . they fill the
lens of love so full, . . . become so completely a couple that they belong
together in that strong way we acknowledge in things by joining them in
speech with íní instead of and, as if the attraction between the things
joined was so strong, so magnetic, that they had rushed together, crushing
their conjunction between them, collapsing it at both ends: flotsam íní
jetsam, Scotch íní soda, ham íní swiss, ham íní eggs, macaroni íní cheese,
thunder íní lightning, cares íní woes, death íní taxes, life íní times,
íní nonsense, rock íní roll, Laurel íní Hardy, Mutt íní Jeff, mom íní
pop, Herb íní Lorna.
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I should like to see the custom introduced of readers who are pleased with a book sending the author some small cash token: anything between half-a-crown and a hundred pounds. Authors would then receive what their publishers give them as a flat rate and their ďtipsĒ from grateful readers in addition, in the same way that waiters receive a wage from their employers and also get what the customer leaves on the plate. Not more than a few hundred poundsóthat would be bad for my characterónot less than half-a-crownóthat would do no good to yours.
Cyril Connolly, Enemies of Promise
Herb íníLorna is published in paperback by Picador, a division of St. Martin's Press, at $13.00.
You should be able to find Herb íní Lornaat your local bookstore, but you can also order it by phone from:
Bookbound at 1-800-959-7323You can order it on the Web from Amazon.com Books.
Copyright © 1994 by Eric Kraft
Herb íníLorna is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
First published by Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street, New York, New York 10022. Member of the Crown Publishing Group.
Now available in paperback from Picador USA,
a division of St. Martin's Press.