The last panel makes me think of:
“Inside a castle, white as milk,
Swathed in curtains smooth as silk,
Within a fountain crystal-clear,
A golden apple does appear.
There are no doors to this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in and steal the gold."
(What is it?
[a classic riddle]
Spud’s protective-haven obsession also reminds me of a line from Emily Dickinson:
“Safe in their alabaster chambers…” But that line refers to the dead in their coffins waiting for Judgement Day.
And Wallace’s whole appreciation of simple things has a lot in common with Dickinson’s little tippler “drunk” on the natural world and on life itself:
“I taste a liquor never brewed …
Inebriate of air am I…"
[air, and other intoxicants like dew, bees, butterflies, blue skies]
“Reeling, through endless summer days…”
[But, you know, I don’t seem to be able to think of just one thing at a time, and these little panels cue up so many pleasant associations.]
April 15, 2016