‘The Texas Principessa’ by William Goyen

The Texas Principessa by William Goyen, 1983

The magic trick:

Combining a lot of heavy elements at once

Lotta cooks in this kitchen. A lot of cooks.

You’ve got the plot, of course. A couple main characters, some romance, a couple of deaths. A lot of plot.

Then you also have the setting. Place plays a major role in this one.

You also have culture. This story defines itself through the definitions it establishes for a few different cultures.

And maybe most notably, you’ve got the narrator. The narrator here is a big, scene-stealing, scenery-chewing character, complete with random asides and catch phrases.

In a certain mood, the reader could well find the whole thing totally exhausting. But when it clicks – if it clicks for you – this story can be a ton of fun.

And that’s quite a trick on Goyen’s part.

The selection:

Well, who would’ve dreamed that I would get the palazzo?

Let me try to stay on what I was trying to talk about, before I was so rudely interrupted – by me!

That ever happen to you?

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