The world has been aflutter over Blake Bailey's biography of John Cheever, and with good cause. Like a lancet Cheever penetrated the boil of American suburban discontent. I remember when my neighbors first got an above-ground pool, when I was twelve. This of course ruined what had once been a perfectly good habitat for chickadees. I attempted to think of an appropriate protest, and at last came up with it.
I printed out a copy of Cheever's "The Swimmer," and under cover of darkness I taped it to their pool.
But as with a typical Cheever protagonist, I was impotent to stop the decay of the land. Several days later, I saw the pages of the story scattered amongst the drying leaves. A Cheeverian image if ever their was one.
Denis Johnson (1949-2017)
4 hours ago