Wednesday, November 28, 2018

the last book I ever read (Phone Booth (Object Lessons), excerpt three)

from Phone Booth (Object Lessons) by Ariana Kelly:

In her 1970 novel Play It As It Lays, Joan Didion’s main character Maria Wyeth senses an atmosphere fraying at its edges when she observes an unnaturally long line to use the pay phone at the grocery store: “The telephone in the apartment was out of order and she had to report it. The line at the pay phones in Ralph’s Market suddenly suggested to Maria a disorganization so general that the norm was to have either a disconnected telephone or some clandestine business to conduct, some extramarital error.” As ubiquitous as elevators, but used much more rarely, public phone are intimately linked with varying degrees of disorder—from the incidental to the truly catastrophic, which is the context that gave rise to their existence in the first place.

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