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Discussing the book "The Coast of Chicago" with author Stuart Dybek

BROADCAST: May. 7, 1990 | DURATION: 00:45:54


Discussing the book "The Coast of Chicago" with author Stuart Dybek


Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.


spk_0 listen to this voice. It's a Chicago voice, Stuart Dybek, and to me, I think he's as close.

spk_0 Two notes an organ in capturing the lyrical voice of Chicago passed in Chicago. Present

spk_0 at least memory has anyone Stuart Dybek greeting from

spk_0 a passage from his new collection of worth more than short stars. All related in a way, we'll talk about that. Call the Coast of Chicago published Bike. Enough. Stuart Dybek reading.

spk_0 No, this is more a Stuart Dybek reads a sequence called Amnesia From a Story.

spk_0 The long story in the book called Hot Ice That's a memory in a sense, is more than just nostalgia. Here. It's something. It's something that waas I hope so, Yeah.

spk_0 Anyway, this from the book The Coast of Chicago. You talk about a certain community and neighbor on ethnic neighborhood. We think of Chicago. City of Neighborhood is a typical west southwest side. It Waas wasn't

spk_1 right around the courthouse.

spk_1 The jail in 26th in California

spk_0 and the jail plays a role here, does right

spk_0 but NLC It was Urban Lee renewed, sort of. It was

spk_1 just sort of is the operative word here.

spk_1 It was urgently renewed in an ongoing stages that never seemed completed.

spk_1 And, uh,

spk_1 the neighborhood itself was really seemed to be. And I think this is true of much of the South Side seemed to be weighted more towards industry than towards homes, and it seems that the homes were more the afterthoughts

spk_0 ended it, Uh, this is the neighborhood you remember and it also was changing,

spk_0 had been primarily Slavic writing Polish and bohemian

spk_0 and Germans,

spk_1 some German

spk_0 and then was becoming Hispanic,

spk_1 primarily Mexican action

spk_0 and Mexican. And so this is the basis, you know, at, I think, Joseph, coach of the Tribune re perceptive critic or someone else's spoke

spk_0 thinking of

spk_0 of Ah Weinberg, Ohio Sherwood Anderson, North Dubliners of choice because they're not simply stories that connecting links, are they not?

spk_1 Yeah, it's I kind of What I was after was it

spk_1 was that out of the little fragments, some kind of an overall

spk_1 vision maybe would would rise up out of the book

spk_0 because I remember the previous book you wrote called a Great Title to Childhood and other neighborhoods.

spk_0 And there's there's an epigraph you use here.

spk_0 The Machado quote. I had the wrong quote out

spk_1 of the whole of memory. There's one thing worthwhile.

spk_1 The great gift of calling back dreams.

spk_0 So that's what you're doing here? Is calling back dreams, basically, isn't it? I

spk_1 guess I

spk_1 That's what I try to do. Yeah,

spk_0 because it has a sort of dreamy effect, Right? You have brief you have brief

spk_0 vignettes. I guess you'd call them right if there was on stage. And then you have stories that a longer in length, but all related to this community.

spk_0 Bobbo on the boy, Baba bitch! The very opening very brief about a street called Fire. Well, on a certain guy.

spk_0 And who is this guy? Because he represents?

spk_1 Well, he's really a composite portrait. And

spk_1 I don't know if you remember the old

spk_1 Communist bookstore, but that that kind of figured partly in there that was in that neighborhood. So it was a modern books, the modern books there. That's what it was called, right. The latter books there. Lou Diskin.

spk_1 So there's a bit of a composite between on book star owners and professors and things, but I you know, and but I did know fellow lived on fire. Well,

spk_0 this guy you call bobbo above Election Guy keeping you.

spk_0 That's what your book is throughout a lot of old world and an industrial community and neighbourhood old world and new that it's the impinge ing. So it's a question of your grandmother and others,

spk_1 right?

spk_1 All right, well, there's also this, I think, is canceling sense in Chicago that you talked about with the tiny neighborhoods that there's It's a city of honeycombs with borders.

spk_1 And so as you move through the city and there's there's repeated border crossings.

spk_1 And I think one of the things I was trying to catch was that sense of these little enclaves in the constant Crossing, even just going blacks, you're crossing borders.

spk_0 And so it's like you're going in a different country, right? So we know there were many kids in neighborhoods, not just ghetto black kids, right at your kids and many neighbors and who never left that community exactly right. It

spk_1 and, um, I noticed that in fact, when I was a case worker that it was irrespective of race,

spk_1 that it just It just happened that the kids in the in the

spk_1 let's see it was a case work around 39th and Cottage Grove. They were

spk_1 within sight of downtown. A lot of them have never been downtown,

spk_1 and it was the same thing for us. The

spk_0 data it began, you were a caseworker.

spk_1 I mean, this was later after

spk_0 Yeah, You started writing, right? Oh, I thought was casework that led to writing.

spk_1 No, no, it wasn't. It was the two kind of went on simultaneously case worker by day and

spk_1 scribbling by night.

spk_0 So in your writing, let's start.

spk_0 We have the picture of the sky. Just typical. A typical phrase had not typical phrase. A typical I should say, but it's a dye, Becky and phrase. Three old guys trying to show the kid the boy, you It could be that guy Georgian. Weinberg, Ohio George Willard

spk_0 was Stuart Dybek here, where he says,

spk_0 on Page five

spk_0 above his desk, the old boy tacked up ST Mark map of Odessa, way grown up beside the Black Sea. There were circled the red ink

spk_0 along a few of the streets. I didn't ask that night, but later, when a new and better I asked what the red circles mark. Good bakeries, he said. That's what I'm talking about,

spk_1 that I

spk_1 think that's exactly right?

spk_1 Yeah, that that was Ah,

spk_1 so true. And even where I as I grew up, I mean, that we would have these enormous arguments is whether dress ALS was better than the other Czech bakery and so on, so forth.

spk_0 And we're coming that the first,

spk_0 a story of such is called Chopin in winter

spk_0 and this status as an old raffish, uh, grandfather comes to visit

spk_0 the narrator's mother,

spk_0 Jadzia, and as a girl upstairs what you sort of set the

spk_1 well. It's a story about

spk_1 anybody who's lived in on a huge apartment building. I think

spk_1 realizes that frequently, though your neighbors air behind doors, you constantly hear these whispered fragments of conversations. You smell their food, you

spk_1 you hear their laughter, you hear their arguments. And I think that that's

spk_1 the sense that the story tries to capture in this particular story. Ah, young boy has a crush on a

spk_1 college age girl who was headed obvious gift for music, and it's kind of

spk_1 I raised out of her class. Her immigrant class

spk_1 given because of scholarships, she has gone to Julia

spk_1 and she's come back pregnant, refuses to tell anybody who the father is and he hears her playing Chopin repeatedly through the neighbor's daughter, the landlady's daughter,

spk_0 the land lady who's up next apartment upstairs, probably

spk_1 right on the top

spk_1 floor

spk_0 and through the

spk_0 It's voices and sound are your book that way through it? And so

spk_0 where were you are this young kid lives with his mother and his

spk_0 air efficient, colorful grandfather's been around

spk_1 right? He's a wander, he's he's come over as an immigrant, but he's really

spk_1 remained, remained a wander, and

spk_1 he he drops in. Uh,

spk_1 kind of out of the blue is he's been doing through his throughout his life, wearing all those clothes at once, as these old guys were

spk_1 inclined to do. And while the boy sits at the table listening to Chopin filter through the ceiling, the grandfather begins

spk_1 regale ing him with some mix of both family history and the and his own fantastic stories. And so

spk_1 that kind of mix of the Chopin and the and the Girl and the grandfather and his

spk_1 stories

spk_1 become the life of the boy

spk_0 sound that old man hears. He's been everywhere. He's exactly right. When a Philippine gold prospector, a sailor, a sort of a self educated

spk_0 raffish Randy. Exactly right.

spk_0 But hearing that

spk_0 intimation of music, the sound for the pipes. Chopin, he says, the grand vaults. Something

spk_0 that sort of heats his blood.

spk_1 Exactly right,

spk_0 Henry. Kindles of memory,

spk_0 which perhaps a little bit of that die. I want you, sir. Page 19. I'm taking off hand.

spk_0 What you do, the more you do the boy or what? You read it each night. Chopin.

spk_0 All right,

spk_1 this would be judge a talking

spk_0 jobs. The old man

spk_1 that means Grandfather, Grandpa, judge and Boucha

spk_0 grandmother.

spk_0 And as you write, he stood. He rambled on about a a flatten and e flattened shops and opuses and this kids working on his homework. But something's happened at that moment in that kitchen on that room. Exactly right. The old man is

spk_0 that stuff buried. Come because of the strange girl doesn't know stairs.

spk_1 Well, in fact, I think you never really quite 100% sure how much of the music the boy actually here's and how much of the interior

spk_1 of the magical qualities that his jazz jazz giving it that he hears, but because it's coming through muffled and

spk_1 But by the end of the relationship, he begins identifying all of Chopin's

spk_1 different kinds of music City.

spk_0 It is, though. Yeah, that as you say, you don't know how much is heard. But even

spk_0 that touch again, you come back to that epigraph of Machado that used in the very beginning there

spk_0 the great gift of calling back dreams. Right, if I would have choose one

spk_0 Now, one word to describe your story

spk_0 dreamlike, that is the realistic story would hear some more of the guys. You know, the narrator, the writer, this kid in the neighborhood,

spk_0 and yet there's a dream like calling back

spk_1 drinks. Well, I'd like them to be dreams that rise out of reality.

spk_1 Um, that's so that

spk_1 and what I like about that quotas the paralleling of memory and dream to states that we wouldn't actually call of consciousness. And yet

spk_1 each one, in its own way, is more is as intense as anything that we would call. Yeah, you know, the here and now That

spk_0 would never phrase used about Joyce that he was

spk_0 dreaming awake remnants of razors. Dreaming awake

spk_0 and exact in this sense is what you are. It seems to me,

spk_1 John Gartner says that's what in his book The Craft. The fiction says That's that's what the whole act of writing fiction is. Is making a waking dream for the

spk_0 the leader.

spk_0 And so the story, of course. This girl who knew much about her, how she got in trouble and there's a shame. Now here's old or new world, too, but especially Old world shame tonight of A to,

spk_0 isn't it? Is there something you wanted to return that I don't know? I think about the old world, shame and, oh, so

spk_0 it's a touch here. Something else isn't there. He was going beyond her class

spk_1 exactly, and that her mother is very aware of that. That

spk_1 and is driving her to propel herself. And the tremendous disappointment her mother feels is because she she sees this opportunity to have

spk_1 risen

spk_1 to really have joined America the way she has the way the mother who's an immigrant, has not been able to do when she's

spk_1 she sees her daughter from her point of view, ruining her chances.

spk_0 That's part of it, too, is becoming in America but also knowing your place, strangely enough, right? But there's something about that piano, though we know it. It's a three flat. Let's say a three flat and something like that

spk_0 and she's a land lady were very often the land lady Who's Widodo, where the husband has worked. He made in the stockyards or the steel mill saved, and they become landlords and rent generator, the son in law and the daughter downstairs. Actually, someone else

spk_0 making it. But the piano.

spk_0 That's something else in the daughter and piano because that's that extra touch,

spk_1 right? Well, that's that home,

spk_1 Let's say the dimension of their dreams, or at least of the mother's dreams, that somehow the piano represents that touch of luxury

spk_1 of art that that really their lives,

spk_1 which which are so committed to survival.

spk_1 Um, it's a risk for them, too.

spk_1 Two in indulging that artistic dimension.

spk_0 And so one day this girl called Marci was pregnant, disappears right? We don't know where on this board no one knows. And the old man sort of he sort of

spk_0 faith exactly right. He faints that

spk_1 right? So both of them disappeared from

spk_0 you read on page bottom of 30 to the ending of the story. The last paragraph that starts on page 32. That's the end of the opening story called Chopin and Winter.

spk_0 Okay,

spk_1 this is this is the boy Now, after he's been deserted by both Marcy and his grandfather,

spk_1 it took time for the music to fade.

spk_1 I kept catching wisps of it in the air shaft, behind walls and ceilings under bathwater, echoes

spk_1 echoes travel the pipes and wallpapered shoots, the bricked up flues and dark. Always,

spk_1 Mrs Kubiak's building seemed riddled with its secret passageways,

spk_1 and when the music finally disappeared, it's channels remained, conveying silence

spk_1 not an ordinary silence of absence and emptiness,

spk_1 but a pure silence beyond daydream and memory

spk_1 as intense as the music it replaced, which, like music, had the power to change. You ever listened?

spk_1 It hushed the close, quartered racket of the old building.

spk_1 It had always been there, behind the creeks and drafts and slamming doors behind the staticky radios on the flush ings and footsteps and crackling fat

spk_1 behind the whales of vacuums and kettles and babies. The voices, with their scraps of conversation and arguments, had laughter floating out of flats where people lack themselves in with all that was private.

spk_1 Even after I no longer Mr

spk_1 I could still hear the silence left behind,

spk_0 hearing the silence behind. But also through these cracks that's hung for these whispers,

spk_1 right? Well, that seems to me and I love I'd like the image of this story because it seemed to me so

spk_1 true of so much human communication that

spk_1 that we only hear those the little

spk_1 whispers coming out. We don't really hear the full conversation. The full life,

spk_0 I guess, to Stuart Dybek in.

spk_0 He's a voice, fresh voice, a new voice. And I wanted the previous book, Beauty Again. Connecting is called Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. The new book is called The Coast of Chicago. Poached Bike. Not fun. The comparison Weinberg, Ohio, is a very to me apt one, because it is about this guy Jorge world No, the impressions and dreamy aspect that he remembered

spk_1 right there was a really magical dimension that Sherwood Anderson here. That book

spk_0 I have to ask you about notes, an organ, I assume he played a role and

spk_1 well assured that he was, uh I mean, it would be hard to have grown up in Chicago and that they have been touched by al grins work. But the book I remember the most strongly was his biggest one man with the golden arm. Amedeo,

spk_1 my brother, my brother and I. He was also literary type of a guy. I mean way. Just read that book, Toe one. We would read that book to each other at night. So

spk_0 this has that connecting and it's a

spk_0 it's just come out getting

spk_0 wildly enthusiastic reviews very much so. And they speak of the Chicago, the lyrical Chicago voice of Stuart Dybek.

spk_0 We heard that first story in the the little ones. These little page and 1/2 of memory flashed like their old guy Baba vich. We speak up and you have another ah, young a girl fainting in a church

spk_0 That's kind of a no erratic quality.

spk_1 Alright, again, it's trying to catch some of those

spk_1 just just the feeling of the churches on Sunday in the little neighborhoods.

spk_1 You know when you talk about two and three flat places, when you go back to him, the scale of you can see how the church

spk_1 manages to tower over these little neighborhoods so that the scale of the neighborhood really does say something significant about the power of religion in those little ethnic enclaves.

spk_0 That's true, especially in the ethnic communities, were all over. I should their own neighborhoods. There's that steeple

spk_0 sometimes around you remember and all gonna say within the view of something of steeple of ST column bonus on the various names of the branches existed in the in this case, primarily Catholic Roman cat Roman care has one of the Greek Orthodox to,

spk_1 But when you see I mean when you see the skyline of Chicago, the steeples are now so dwarfed by corporate corporate buildings.

spk_1 But in the neighborhoods, they're still that these jackets, they they still kind of retain their old towering that that feeling of ascending.

spk_1 So, uh,

spk_1 I think that that story kind of tries to cancel

spk_0 exactly what you just said. In the neighborhoods of the building. The tall the edifice,

spk_0 it's the church, right?

spk_0 And sometimes around, sometimes angular, very often that around

spk_0 touching heaven.

spk_0 But in the in the downtown and the money there is, there is no such thing is that at the new church

spk_1 fried, it's after Newtown

spk_1 or just these little steeples

spk_0 Yeah,

spk_0 but But this mast a certain kind of masses you talk about to even the different time for the masses at a different feeling.

spk_1 Exactly right.

spk_1 The the one in this particular story is the kid thinks of it as the adult mass, and it's almost ah, fashion show.

spk_1 The way the parishioners air dressed,

spk_0 that was the 11 15 11 15. But then somewhere, you're the kid. You see this girl

spk_0 and you think, and toward the end as they carrier out because she'd fainted.

spk_0 You got that old woman

spk_0 in the babushka? Uh, what you read, that is kind of good. The holy name ushers were rushing from their stations because she had passed out

spk_1 right? Swollen. Has she? She has a habit of fainting Just about every son Sunday. And this kid has Ah, he's enamored by her.

spk_0 Well, right, there's a picture. There's a painting you would promotion pulling down because addressing, you know, actually, being cat went up

spk_1 right? Exactly, right

spk_0 with eyes. And also there is that

spk_0 touch of Arad is's, um that, too, with this kid.

spk_1 Oh, it should be very strong anti because he's he's kind of already losing his faith, and he's just

spk_1 she keeps him from being totally bored. And while everybody's praying, he's kind of,

spk_1 um,

spk_1 gently googling this woman from the choir. He just keeps an eye on er and And which is the reason why more than any of the other people, he sees these stages of her fainting.

spk_0 I was also involving his is also falling away from the faith. Exactly. Right, Well, but also the picture of the old woman in the but Bush right pulling down. You see that typically,

spk_1 decorum must be

spk_0 can. But there's one sequence that almost all the talk about that's also the

spk_0 the death of the right fielder. Now we know about

spk_0 sand lot baseball games. The right fielder gets is the most. The least act

spk_0 is the most inept

spk_1 thread and sandlot ball

spk_0 sandlot ball because fewer balls come to anybody, right? So

spk_0 this kid

spk_0 has an attack on the field. Uh,

spk_0 the right fielder, right?

spk_0 And

spk_0 they There he is.

spk_0 He died

spk_1 right while they walk out there and they find him that the their wonder why all I mean, the first sentences after too many balls went out, never came back. We want went out the check,

spk_1 this idea that balls would be hit, nobody throwing them back in and they find him lying there

spk_0 and when that's all. You had the wrong page there. I'm looking for that page called

spk_0 Death of the Right Here. It's a short story, Yeah, but

spk_0 it's something. Then they want to find him. But the part that's so funny

spk_0 and you tell about how little

spk_0 how little talent is needed. The playwright real saying Contrast the shortstop or center field. But on page 36 no matter who pulled the trigger on what it Wasit may have been a heart attack or something. But in the middle of that page, third went to read that passage.

spk_1 Okay, they're trying to figure out exactly what killed him and this. I think part of what the story's about is how you make myths and legends up in neighborhoods.

spk_0 That's a funny several. I think it was Joseph coach at this point that at funny lad off court, leukemia is something special.

spk_1 Not only that, but they have been so many shows in which you know a great athlete is, and tragically, it's been true. But But it's,

spk_1 I mean

spk_0 there, center fielder

spk_0 or let's say I say shortstop

spk_1 exactly right. The glamour position

spk_0 share star pitcher, not a right fielder right field. That is not a right feet on sandlot game, you know, so that C and also about losers didn't want to be identified with a loser this interesting. So he denied being Cubs

spk_0 ready.

spk_0 But here, see, here's the part I like, and that's where that's all Granny into me. He lacked the sense of humor for that, for being a loser lacked a perverse pride of sticking for losers. Season after season breeds in the love Now to me, that's what your stories. About two months David kids were losers. A great many right come to them exactly in that great story called Blight and the big one called Hot Ice

spk_0 Kids of a gang. Right? But loser, that's a humor. Come back to Alden for a minute. He always lose. I'm sorry, but he said, great poker, those terrible he'd lose because he was a poet.

spk_0 How much can win with Polish accountants when it pokes already and so,

spk_0 But losing had a own kind of perverse humor affect your pointing out

spk_1 exactly. And I mean, I had a group of friends that proudly referred to themselves as this screw ups And that was, You know, that was kind of hobby. Their identity came out of them. There's a line in that story to that has something to do with it, which, which is

spk_1 the narrator wonders how many other great ones have gone down in the obscurity of their neighborhoods. And I like that idea. Just you just never know how much

spk_1 talent

spk_1 really never makes it to the surface. You know,

spk_0 there's what in the story called blight,

spk_0 which is before that you have these little again these little 12 page

spk_0 reflection and wanted about the bottle caps, right? And we know this bottle of Captain Becky Beer Bottle Capital were always saved. You get these great names of the past.

spk_0 But the sea finds his kid brother, though how has stolen a batch and use them for what?

spk_1 Well, he his kid brother is stealing his bottle caps, and he finally makes him confess. Why he's taking says,

spk_1 I've been using them as tombstones

spk_1 in my insect graveyard,

spk_1 but again, it's that sense of ritual and

spk_1 that you know, the legend that you just make up. You know why

spk_1 wave bottle caps become so important to a boy. And yet when you watch maybe girls through this, too, I just don't know. But I mean, I have a nine year old now and I seem doing the same Popsicle sticks. You know, they become this.

spk_0 He spoke of ritual and legend and a car. Thats what your books about two legends, right? Myth that very much things called city myths, right? Yeah, especially when the parent that's another kind of as oven old world becoming American and the kid is the first generation born here, and that's a lot of this in it.

spk_0 So it's the old new legend myth becoming

spk_0 and also

spk_0 at dreaming,

spk_0 right? So we come to blight and

spk_0 blight

spk_0 very title itself.

spk_0 So it's

spk_0 several people who have a little band of their own. There's a guy named Ziggy now Ziggy's He's

spk_0 a little off. I mean, little strange.

spk_1 Well, Ziggy Zelinski, he's he's the he's gone back to the this religious idea. He's kind of the religious guy of the group. He's he's off there in.

spk_1 He's a deeply he's the kind of character was a lot of empathy. He's worrying about the people starving in China and worried about bag ladies something that none of these other guys care about too much.

spk_1 He has prophetic dreams. One of his prophetic

spk_0 as you say that trying to Stuart, I think of something Woody Guthrie wrote and bound for glory. There was a sky during the deep, deep depression as they left. Oklahoma is wandering and the jobs we're going off that that is

spk_0 the people

spk_0 were going off. There was this one guy and the and the

spk_0 and the drought is there, and it's because I see things. He's got a newsreel in his head. You think I'm touched, like, merely graze. You think I'm goofy? He's No, you're not. You're prophetic

spk_0 guy. So newsreels of all kinds of riots and thinking. So, Ziggy, it's kind of like that.

spk_1 Yeah, he is. He's got. In fact, Ziggy, Ziggy is the volleys characters, the one closest to that sense of dream.

spk_0 Thank you. You read that?

spk_0 And with

spk_0 is that you get hit on the head once need recounters dreams of once. You do that on page 43

spk_1 when he'd wake up.

spk_0 Yeah, and then he goes on to, uh to them, he visions all these things.

spk_0 Yeah. Ziegler had always worried about things no one else cared about. Like the population explosion, people starving in India, the world blowing up with you walking along down 22nd of passing Alley and Ziggy would say, See that? See what? Mayor Daley scrounging through garbage. We all turn back and, of course, your bag lady picking through the cams.

spk_0 But it's still in the way. I could see it from Ziggy's point of view. And so this is what Ziggy's right news. Urban renewal is going on mine off season. So this

spk_0 zig the dreamer since you mentioned three Funny you mentioned the fear, the atomic bomb. The night the Sox won the pennant. That was 1959 right? Well, we were up. WFMT was up on them

spk_0 and I have night Show them like E 15 8 And Marty Robinson was engineering at that night working mate wfmt 2 to 1 North LaSalle. And when we came down and he had the TV on, they beat Cleveland.

spk_0 And you got it here. You got a passage in here by the the But that night, police come a fire Commissioner Quinn decided to sound the whistles and belt to celebrate the pennant, But the Cold War was still pretty strong. Man. If you thought the Russians a common, that's an invasion. People had heart attacks.

spk_1 Oh, sure I would killed me about it was I remember that

spk_1 that after all the drills, we had jumping under our desks at school and saying the rosary when the whistles blew and all the people stacking up cases of beer in their basement bomb shelters.

spk_1 What happened? My neighborhood was. Everybody ran out. They wanted to see it.

spk_1 They were out there in their there, crying and being a slur

spk_1 they wanted to see the

spk_1 none of them followed procedures. They.

spk_0 But this was the time when fireman Fire Commissioner Quinn decide to sound the alliance. You got dinner and Ziggy wasn't the same

spk_1 for Aziz had this prophetic dream. Any theories? The sirens go

spk_0 off. We got him. More of the stories that dream like stories. The calling back memories, stories,

spk_0 flashes of Stewart died back. Wonderful Chicago writer. The coast of Chicago was his new book and bike.

spk_0 In that same story, Blight. You got a guy named D. Joe, Uh, and he wants to write something exactly Great American novel something. I dig beauty,

spk_1 huh?

spk_1 Well, his great American novel starts with the line. The dawn rises like Siegelman playing in their underwear on the roof Tufts.

spk_1 And he's He's kind of the writer that grew.

spk_0 But these guys are serious. The guy, because he's looking for words now, huh? They were. And they have this.

spk_0 They have this abandoned. There are so aware, the pop music at the time, right? But now the neighbor changes. The gang chased that. Now that couple of Mexican American kids in the in the gang now.

spk_1 Well, the drummer is a gaining pepper asado. He's half polish and half Mexican.

spk_0 So now the changes also making itself out in the personnel. Sure, exactly.

spk_0 And I'm going to read a piece there.

spk_0 Weren't you? I can read it.

spk_1 it. I didn't. Do you

spk_0 think you're reading from this? Well, that's the story. I now so there's a crazy dream to get this crazy Chevy, Uh,

spk_0 that because then they want to fix it. But finally, they have to get rid of it,

spk_1 right while the transmission falls on 39th.

spk_1 So they push it off a railroad bridge,

spk_0 and

spk_0 but in it it's the guy saxophone

spk_1 right that they get so involved in this whole idea of giving the car a proper burial in the drainage canal that he forgets. A saxophone is in the trunk.

spk_0 You mentioned Ziggy being religious will come to someone later on. Pancho. Right in the great, great story, hot ice on all sorts of national awards

spk_0 has the story. But here he had a reading. Thomas Merton.

spk_0 How did that officer comes in? He's reading Thomas Merton.

spk_0 Well, here's about. Get Semini, Abby.

spk_1 Exactly. This is after the sirens have gone off It so shatters him

spk_1 that

spk_1 he has what? Probably in those days would have been called a nervous breakdown it

spk_1 in his late 18 years. And

spk_1 he goes back to his early

spk_1 religious training to tryingto survive it in one of the local priest gives him Thomas Merton's book,

spk_1 and as soon as he reads it, he realizes that he what he wants to do is go to the

spk_1 abbvie. It gets Semini and take the vial of silence. Course the kids only 17 or 18 years old with this time,

spk_1 but he is in the story actually sets out on this quest

spk_0 a little again. We come to these brief things, these almost they almost lead into the longer stories that in part, that's part of the way. The mood right,

spk_0 how you became us, how you became an usher. Were you a movie? I sure I

spk_1 wasn't. I wasn't but I was a movie fanatic. And it seems that movie stories keep popping up on everything that

spk_0 when you have one or you have several references to movies. One was that, uh, surreal

spk_0 sequence. What's that called

spk_0 the surreal one Guinea with these haven't garden obese. You bees, you write you and you cut you deliberately take the name. It seems to me of a small town, a typical movie theater name of priority in the century. Need You?

spk_1 The The earlier book had one called Horror movie, in which a black used

spk_1 has lost his home, goes into a movie theater and to see a horror movie just to get off the streets. And

spk_1 at the end of the movie, says, if the monsters air chasing him down some South side streets, so it's it's a re occurring.

spk_0 Yeah, had the addition of the Usher just a page and 1/2 that's very funny, uh, DeMott. The best description when Usher does in a darkened theater home with the flashlight, they told him to tread softly and popcorn to become a shadow as transparent a soundtrack music. So his corporeal body never eclipse projectionist beam. They taught him how to slide among lovers. I like that taught him a swan dive, a daredevil merger, Fred Astaire and tires, and from the balcony over the audience, with dreamers dreaming the one dream

spk_0 and to God told him to glide above that trance, searching for an empty seat.

spk_0 Part of a secret society.

spk_0 That's a good description. Thank you guys shared

spk_0 with the And that

spk_1 was the job I always wanted, I think,

spk_1 to be an usher and

spk_0 the united

spk_0 and

spk_0 all sorts of influences onion movies. And, of course, visiting the Art Institute leads, of course, to Nighthawks, which is

spk_0 read Abbasi, a takeoff on hoppers, Right, which the original being the art Institute, that classic right, that which, in my American favorite

spk_1 scene here

spk_0 and so nighthawks Now this becomes something

spk_0 different story,

spk_0 different subheading

spk_0 silhouettes,

spk_1 right? What was besides the hopper influenced? The other influence was when I wrote that story. Chopin and winter, which he talked about earlier. I'd listen to Chopin's music and the Nocturnes were my favorites, and I thought,

spk_1 How? How about if one try to write a series of fictional nocturnes? That is, Stories that investigate night are set at night. Have the mood of night, and I think that's what Nighthawks is partly an attempt to do.

spk_0 And so that's what that's what you were doing. So from that you have,

spk_0 I was thinking, maybe should read part of

spk_0 You speak of apparitions here to there again, another aspect of the dreams you're talking about apparitions,

spk_0 and it's just

spk_0 I'm thinking of it. You know, one part.

spk_0 Others had their own name for shadows. Oh, that's again past.

spk_0 It's funny. I know what I'm thinking. I'm thinking myself looking at Night Hawks, and I'm talking to a younger guy was a writer uh, that Hopper's Nighthawks. To me, it's a memory of this diner

spk_0 below the hotel where I lived all night policy all night

spk_0 and there was the guy bending that counter man seeing the painting. I remember this guy out. Whatever name was a counter man rending on a couple of loners, setting that night. And sure enough, there was a woman outside under a light. You know she was

spk_0 hooker.

spk_0 What I

spk_1 I love about that painting is that if

spk_1 anybody has ever seen the diner knows that that's a very accurate representation of a diner. And yet it's surrounded by this magical light.

spk_1 So it combines those two dimensions the rial and the fantasy and the magical.

spk_0 And it's the light that accentuates the lowland,

spk_1 right? Oh, here. Don't we come

spk_0 to those figures? But there's no we come to the detachment of Harbor that you have in the stories and the memory of it there. And yet

spk_0 a Lonesome Valley idea

spk_0 that loaded him Valley

spk_0 and

spk_0 the old neighborhood and the changing one and it finally leaves up to the actual visit toward the very end leads up to the actual picture, doesn't it? Might Right, right.

spk_0 But in the chapter, the sequence called Insomnia, part of the Nighthawk Book on page 96 Pepsi could even read just the, uh,

spk_0 a couple of passages there.

spk_0 I hate 96. See, some of these shows are stories of Stuart Dybek have sort of subheadings.

spk_1 Well, the first paragraph tries to catch that happen? Richfield on insomnia.

spk_0 Because there again you have. You think there's a connection, right? Looking for not now, that right. And

spk_0 you did. Of course, I assume this is autobiographical. The chapter of the paragraph just before the one you started reading

spk_0 in Night occupied in the pretty

spk_1 set in the Artist.

spk_0 The two. Yeah, I would. Yeah, actually,

spk_1 this is autobiographical and and there's I think that that painting is even heightened because I mean my other favorites. There are the Impressionists, but then you're so full of these light and gardens, and suddenly you confront this dark, dark painting, which has a different kind of light, and it even magnifies the

spk_0 Read that and 95 that last the parent. Yet I

spk_1 was up, yet I would always and my walk through the paintings standing before the diner and Edward Hopper's Nighthawks.

spk_1 Perhaps I needed its darkness to balance the radiance of the other paintings.

spk_1 It was nine, and Hopper's painting

spk_1 the diner illuminated the dark city corner with a stark light. It didn't seem capable of throwing on its own,

spk_1 three customers said at the counters, if waiting not for something to begin, but rather to end,

spk_1 and I knew how effortless it would be toe open my eyes and find myself waiting there to

spk_0 have that longing to it.

spk_0 We're talking to Stuart Dybek

spk_0 before the hour's up. We got to get to that story called Hot Ice, which is a classic, and this is a

spk_0 collection

spk_0 I can't say short stories. And yet there are related, aren't they? Well, you know, I kind

spk_1 of trying to make a distinction between a collection and a collection of stories in the book of stories.

spk_1 I call it Dublin or is a book of stories and I call wines. Berg, a Book of Stone, is

spk_0 book of star.

spk_1 I'd like to think it wasn't book of stories,

spk_0 whether that others do, too. The coast of Chicago is the name of it.

spk_0 Cannot the publishers

spk_0 you mentioned Legend in the opening sequence of Saints. There's always a story, a legend somewhere

spk_0 that's supernatural.

spk_1 Oh, yeah, I think that's part

spk_0 this about. Tell about that girl.

spk_1 Well, the legend in this story is that Ah, girl, um,

spk_1 has died in the Douglas Park lagoon

spk_1 and her immigrant father has found her body

spk_1 taking it on a streetcar, and he's the owner of a nice house.

spk_1 And he's

spk_1 his grief has made him

spk_1 sealer in a black of ice. And then, over the next, generations of people in the neighborhood begin ascribing miracles

spk_1 to this

spk_1 saint who is now sealed in a black advice. The implication is that she kind of died defending her virginity against the couple of guys who had around in a rowboat.

spk_0 And so she's and story a za guy big on tech who drinks a lot. I worked in the ice house, right, and he gets caught in it

spk_0 and it's the warmth, as I understand, he sees her right at this virgin in the black of ice, and it's her presence and warms him right and keep from freezing. The death of

spk_0 the on the order comes as you're fired.

spk_0 That's how the legend begins. And now we come to the guys

spk_0 by the you know, Nelson's over a short start. The devil have the devil.

spk_1 Of course,

spk_1 I sort

spk_0 that. Yeah, he knew that. I'm sure had thought of that, but there's also a legend exactly right that comes. So now we come to the guys in this poncho and Manny, his brother, not Poncho, is a ticket. Hispanic kid

spk_1 poncho on Manny. They're both both Hispanics. Yeah, they're brothers.

spk_0 And and the other kids were there

spk_0 that he could boost Eddie,

spk_0 Who's Eddie's sort of this connecting link figure any right close to you? I'd say, Eddie, in a way,

spk_1 probably lv you from United.

spk_0 But if we cut in the pan, Choe and we the background of this whole story is this legend on a girl, right? Burying that black of ice. That's the background. And now we come to the real life with these kids punch. It was a very religious kid.

spk_1 Well, he's a beautiful looking kid, for one thing, and the nuns have the nuns have loved Pine Show.

spk_1 But even though he's a religious kid, he's also gotten caught up in the dope dealing that's gone on the drug dealing that's going on in that neighborhood. So he's got to science

spk_0 Yeah,

spk_0 and so he's up in court. His brother, uh, many. Many is the cynic,

spk_0 but it's Pancho who is the one who ends up most destroyed.

spk_1 Oh, exactly right. In fact, the judge, even as he sent sentencing Pine show res us to him. You're gonna be too pretty. Descend the jail

spk_0 Read that. Oh, a on page 1 34 already. Uh, he's given the old by this Korea time, isn't it? Shortly after Korea, Vietnam, but Vietnam time. And so

spk_1 what's happened at this point is that patch it has already been incarcerated in the

spk_1 in the Bridwell.

spk_0 That's all grainy in this

spk_1 It is is. But you know, I grew up by that by that Jalen, We used to go listen to the trials for for fun

spk_0 fun Did you live near the jam

spk_1 Way Would actually going and listen so that you're not allowed to do that anymore? Because they, you know, but metal.

spk_0 neighbor. And you got the guys. And of course, you have crazy scenes and yet so real the hollering

spk_0 up at the walls planet irritate guys. And I think in Let's hear them exactly. I think these guys are calling back and that dirty words and everything, right? That's part of

spk_0 their living

spk_0 and

spk_0 the factories That's crazy calling to jail. That's crazy sequence you got there.

spk_0 But then there's grief took a

spk_0 punch ago. What happened to punch you

spk_0 and as you got that you got city life on this talk of smelt fish behind the smelt. We don't part of the Chicago scene, right? The fishermen man. So you have a crazy combination here, don't you?

spk_0 There's there's the church, that poncho, the older boy, the beautiful kid who is completely out of it and lost that. The factories looking like jails, Jared like factories and it's all in it

spk_0 and finally leads up to

spk_0 the very end. The boys, The legend still haunts them.

spk_0 The Virgin preserved in the cake of ice and

spk_0 big on tech. It's now getting older. He believes it right now, doesn t the old boy worked? It

spk_1 seems that that by the end of the story, whether Antec has made it up or not on Tech has come to believe his own his own meth, his own legend.

spk_0 And so he leaves the boys to the eye. I saw they had neither been drinking quite a bit,

spk_0 and here's the part, isn't it?

spk_0 Where

spk_0 there's no words that completes a circle, doesn't it?

spk_1 Yes, it's the story starts with a legend and ends with, um and just getting the

spk_0 legend gonna

spk_0 they want they want toe capture that

spk_0 girl

spk_0 ST

spk_0 ST. Ready in a way. In that black of ice. So sure. And they steal that black of Isis and had it right? Yes. See, this has

spk_0 funny, crazy way comic overtones to said comical.

spk_0 Why don't you read that? Let it ends with legends. And the last part? They're stealing that,

spk_0 and they want to bring her back. I both to where she drowned. Okay,

spk_1 Right. Well, well, they're they're going to drown or properly. I suppose it is. They're going to release her into the lake, which is this thing image of some kind of a pure body of water.

spk_0 Tony and three, they had a one wonder Johner, properly rowing a couple of sailors. The legend is she was with sailors.

spk_1 She was with sailors when she was frightened to round. I

spk_0 I sold her right and the boat capsized.

spk_0 And so the rowing, like a couple of sailors

spk_0 talking to Stuart Dybek. It's a very beautiful

spk_0 book of star Anke starts off the coast of Chicago cannot the publishers and its beauty.

spk_0 Thank you. Thank you.