Monday, January 16, 2012

Something To Keep Us Until Tomorrow.

Some years back Cynthia Kadohata wrote what I found to be a fine essay about the life and work of Breece Pancake. I took issue with only one section, which follows:

"I don't think in any case that my goal was quite to know or understand him. Because I admired his writing so much, what I've wanted all along is simply to know not why but when it was that he passed from anguish to despair, as if by finding exactly the moment I could cause some sort of magical chain reaction, and he would not have died the way he did."

In an essay of my own, in the final paragraph, I made my own statement about Ms. Kadohata's thought, which follows:

"But Breece would not want consideration for his life, not from a fellow writer, anyway. Every word he wrote was a study in craft and sheer work and effort. His own life was secondary, at the very least a loosely spun inspiration or guidebook for his precious characters. Pancake might have been more pleased with consideration for the plainness of his grave, the cemetery stretching beyond it, the woods and the creatures - the fox, the deer - huddled there, watching, starving, alert for something to keep them until tomorrow."


  1. Two weeks ago a fellow home school parent, after reading a couple of my stories, said, "I have a book you need to borrow." It was Pancake's story collection. Powerful stuff.

  2. That's cool, man. Your work brought to her mind Pancake. A damn good compliment. Glad you enjoyed his collection.


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