october 19, 2012
“More and more often, accustomed objects of my wardrobe disappeared, to be replaced by proclaimed or surreptitious gifts. Originally I had interpreted these gifts as springing from a misguided and love-inspired attempt to give me pleasure. In the end I understood that my pleasure was the last consideration involved. The crisis came when I polished a shoe with a new tie. A row ensued, the first of many occasioned by the divergence of our tastes in haberdashery. After one of my exhibitions Lois would try to discipline me by withholding the sweets of her gender.”
” ‘The bastard,’ she said, ‘he’s two-timing me!’
‘Now, Sadie,’ I said, lying back in my chair and sighing at her over the toes of my shoes crossed on the desk, ‘we went into that arithmetic a long time back. He’s not two-timing you. He’s two-timing Lucy [his wife]. He may be one-timing you, or four-timing you. But it can’t be two timing.’ I was watching her eyes, and just saying that to see if it was possible to put a little more snap into them. It was.
For she said, ‘You—you—’ Then words failed her.’ ”
– Robert Penn Warren, “All the King’s Men”
The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.