Now you’re talking!
Elsewhere in Bluets, Nelson considers “having the blues,” being sad or depressed or lonely. She talks about Billie Holiday’s song “Lady Sings the Blues.” Nelson notes that “Nonetheless, as Billie Holiday knew, it remains the case that to see blue in deeper and deeper saturation is eventually to move toward darkness.”
It’s semi-religious, almost philosophically nihilistic, evocations such as this that make Bluets superb.
Mostly, Bluets reminds me of Annie Dillard’s For The Time Being. And such literary comparisons are – more often than not – either cheap cop-outs, which reviewers use as filler, or vaguely insulting. In this instance, though, the comparison is meant as the highest compliment. For both authors – bluestockings – share their most intimate thoughts about the activities of humanity and the universe, all the while trying to infer the truth of a notion, directly from its nature or condition in the mind. Or try it this way: they give you a peek inside their souls. Which is what great writing is all about.
Bluets is wonderful stuff. It’s the exploration of love, philosophy, religion, sex, history – of Life, as viewed through the hue of blue. Books like this, writing like this doesn’t come along very often.