Everybody’s been futurized (Barry Hannah)

Ulrich had been quiet, painting on deck varnish. Now he spoke. “We don’t love each other as much as we used to. You can see the uncertain looks, the calculations, the dismissals. People are not even in the present moment. Everybody’s been futurized. You look in those eyes and see they’re not home, they’re some hours ahead at least. I hate to go into Vicksburg anymore. Anywhere, really. It’s all like meeting people who have just departed. Old men and women don’t look wise anymore. They are just aged children. And who gets the highest pay? Actors. Paid to mimic life because there is no life. You look at everybody and maybe they’re a little sad, some of ’em. They’re all homesick for when they were real.” Ulrich began painting again as the others tried to guess what could have prompted this.

From Barry Hannah’s 2001 novel Yonder Stands Your Orphan.


5 thoughts on “Everybody’s been futurized (Barry Hannah)”

    1. From a reader’s review by Sarah Pascarella:
      If Federico Fellini and David Lynch commissioned a work to represent the American South, “Yonder Stands Your Orphan” by Barry Hannah would fit the assignment. More a mood piece than a novel, Hannah’s work is surreal and strange, with depraved characters, epic violence, and quirky relationships. The storytelling is muted, hevy on allusion and scenery, and Hannah always keeps the reader guessing as to just exactly what is going on–and then interrupts his lulled audience with a blast of violence. …


  1. You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
    But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
    Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
    Crying like a fire in the sun
    …lyrics from Bringing It All Home


      1. It’s entirely possible. The lyrics I quoted were googled from the albun. Without characterizing the genius’ art, Bob’s creative process seems to be of the Hippy phrase, ‘go with the flow’. The media and some of his fans were constantly trying to fixate Mr. Dylan into a specious style, like a butterfly mounted with a pin into a collection of categories. Remember the near-riot when he debuted electrical instrumentation at a folk festival. Probably would’ve been one if the audience weren’t a collection of semi-aggressive passives, who went home and nursed their sense of betrayal by playing Kumbaya over and over again. It’s All Over Now Baby Blue probably saved my life, by playing the album olver and over again. It’s ironic that ‘down’ songs and literature can revivafy the spirit, such as the Blues, Barry Hannah, or A Good Man Is Hard To Find.


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