List with No Name #38

  1. John Barth’s beret
  2. Zora Neale Hurston’s fedora
  3. Mark Twain’s bowtie
  4. David Foster Wallace’s bandanna
  5. Tom Wolfe’s white suit
  6. Carson McCuller’s cigarettes
  7. Wiillaim Faulkner’s pipe
  8. Jonathan Franzen’s spectacles
  9. Flannery O’Connor’s crutches
  10. Walt Whitman’s hat (cocked, natch)
  11. Oscar Wilde’s fur coat
  12. Thomas Pynchon’s paper bag

9 thoughts on “List with No Name #38”

        1. “I started wearing bandannas in Tucson because it was a hundred degrees all the time. When it’s really hot, I would perspire so much that I would drip on the page. Actually, I started wearing it that year, and then it became a big help in Yaddo in ’87, because I would drip into the typewriter, and I was worried that I was gonna get a shock.

          And then I discovered that I felt better with them on. And then I for a while dated a woman who was—she was actually a Sufi Muslim, but she knew a lot about, she was like a ’60s lady, and she knew all about all kinds of different stuff. And she said that there were these various chakras, and one of the big ones was what she called the spout hole, at the very top of your cranium. [He demonstrates where it is, the dolphin and whale spot.] And in a lot of cultures, it was considered better to keep your head covered. And then I began thinking about the phrase, Keeping your head together, you know?

          I mean, I don’t wear it all the time. I wear it—I know it’s a security blanket for me—whenever I’m nervous. Or whenever I feel like I have to be prepared, or keep myself together, I tend to wear it. It makes me—like last night we laughed, but it made me feel kinda creepy that people view it as an affectation or a trademark or something. It’s more just a foible, it’s the recognition of a weakness, which is that I’m just kind of worried my head’s gonna explode.”

          From David Lipsky’s book-length profile Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself.


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