Five Legs (A List)

Five Legs (A List)

Graeme Gibson

Language: English

Pages: 284


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

First published by Anansi in 1969, Five Legs was a breakthrough for Canadian experimental fiction, selling 1,000 copies in its first week. At the time Scott Symons wrote that "Five Legs has more potent writing in it, page for page, than any other young Canadian novel that I can think of." Or indeed any young American novel — including Pynchon and Farina.

Five Legs is the subversive tale of two guilt-ridden young men, Lucan Crackell and Felix Oswald — one a professor, the other his student — caught in the grip of the North American Protestant ethic, with its emotional web-spinning and sexual torments. Gibson captures both their mortifications and their spirited resistance to all things WASP, themselves included, in stream-of-consciousness prose that is at once fluid, disjointed, and hilarious. Essential reading for any Canlit junkie, and quite a trip. This edition features a new introduction by Sean Kane.

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bar of light pierces the contained grey air. Squeezing with one arm cold bottles to his belly, he shuts the little door comes up the stairs. Smoothing on girls’ bodies, their slim girls’ bodies, baby oil and iodine, in the sun: pale shoulders and thighs easily in the sun. Nice looking pair of girls no doubt: with their. Fine legs on them. Curtains swelling into the room. Just hypothetically but you’d have to. Complicity engenders mutual responsibility. Unthinkable not. There, push it right home.

people are in trouble. Glittering eyes, tiny, and rimless glasses; pudgy hand on his heart, a moment. They come to me. From all over they come to me. And do you know why? Do you know why they come from as far away as Detroit? Two and three times, some of them, do you know why, eh? Eyes wet staring into mine; tiny eyes that wait. No I, I can’t say that I. Because I do a good job, that’s why! You notice, confidential lowering of his voice and jerking to the window, peering out, you notice that I

and the sun was so hot and I was sweating with the flies and, and.” The tears again well up and Jesus one spills out and dribbles down his cheek! He wipes it from the corner of his mouth. “There were. And you know I’ll never forget.” His voice and staring eyes. “There were tears of blood in the palm of his hoof.” “You see, didn’t I tell you? Isn’t that a marvellous story!” She turns excitedly, her face a night flower and there are gaps between her teeth. Why do people encourage. Wide-fingered

hair falling down, leaning to whisper: so glad, so very happy and warm, her breath infects my blood. Oh Lucan. Lucan help me! Calmly, Lucan reaching gently, in gently subduing light we lie with shadows in the other room. I can taste, on the edge of my mouth, her hair: oh Lucan help me for I don’t know what to do! You sly young fox. FELIX 1 YOU. STUDIOUSLY BOUNCING your ass against the rad. Bouncing forward to your toes and shifting, back to the scalding metal with another patch of flesh and

extravagantly jump. He won’t give me back my hand! Leaping like a fish I topple chairs in furious noise and shshsh, they whisper, shshsh, inside the congregation stirs and some crowd back: the word is spreading, feet are running in the aisles. What, whatwhat, what’s going on? He won’t, pleading as I wrestle him weeping to the floor. It’s mine, all mine now, mineminemine . . . Straining, but it’s no use, pulling with all my heart to rescue, pushing my boot into his armpit for the extra force.

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