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Strawberry Floor Wax - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Strawberry Floor Wax
My longtime pal Chris Pratt and his Antipodean friend Julian Coldrey have a wine blog, Full Pour, that I read with great pleasure, even though I know very little about wine and get to drink it with others even less. I'm sure someone has written eloquently about how the art of describing what something tastes like, especially something as complex and mutable as wine, involves a good deal of accidental surrealism. The difference in the case of entries like this one, one of my favorite examples of Chris's style, is that the surrealism is deliberate and therefore all the more awesome, making the prose seem to transcend its topic entirely, if you aren't reading to sate your oenophilia:
Anyhow, if such a thing as strawberry floor wax exists, then surely it smells like this. Scratch that, it smells like Soviet bloc "strawberry" ice cream dreamed up in an East German cooperative, manufactured from apples and Bulgarian grapes. It is, however, enchanting in its oddness, dredging up memories I'm absolutely sure aren't mine of Russian tea rooms with small cakes that appear more painted than frosted.
It's hard to imagine anyone other than the inimitable Mr. Pratt writing those sentences, which makes them even more delightful to those who know and love him. For my part, I'm also intrigued by the notion that this description could be transposed, unaltered, to the realm of music criticism, where the use of metaphors from far afield is also prevalent. The harder it is to capture something in words, the more important it is to select words that simulate that something with the power of association.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
barca_k From: barca_k Date: May 12th, 2009 09:08 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree entirely - it's wonderful. I especially like the leap from floor wax to Cold War ice cream. I don't even know what he's talking about (if you hadn't told me, I mean) - he could be describing a new kind of facial cream or perhaps some new gourmet cat food & I'd want some. It's not even that it sounds particularly delicious - it sounds... well, fascinating. Like an experience one would want to have. Very interesting. Thanks for posting it!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 13th, 2009 03:21 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Exactly. You said it better than I could. Chris has long been fascinated with the former German Democratic Republic, as have I. Because we were both exchange students in West Germany shortly before the fall of the Wall, the divided nation lingers in our memories with special vividness.
2 comments or Leave a comment