The Crews Cruise: Port ‘o Call 3

karateKarate Is A Thing Of The Spirit (1971)

Hey! Guess who’s here? Jefferson Dais Munroe from from This Thing Don’t Lead to Heaven.  The dwarf. And karate practitioner. Here a karate guru. JDM doesn’t appear in this Crews novel, but he is revered as a Master of karate.  

John Kaimon finds himself in South Florida latching his self on to a karate  dojo. He’s young and drifting. Trying to find himself. John is from Oxford, Mississippi, the home of William Faulkner. He’s even made a jacket featuring Faulkner’s image on it. When the dojo master (Belt) asks him about the jacket, John  says to Belt:

“An editor from one of the best newspapers in the state of Mississippi said Faulkner was from the privy school of literature. I’ve gone to some trouble to find these things out and that’s what he said, the privy school of literature. And you don’t expect to find honey in a privy. You expect to find shit. And besides, all of his stuff is full of freaks.”

“Freaks?”

“Freaks,” John Kaimon said. “It’s the one thing everybody agrees on. It’s just one freak after another in Faulkner’s work

Like much else in this early Crews novel, I’m not sure what to make of it all. The setting seemed removed from where I thought Crews rambled. The result is a novel that flounders, does a back-flip, and breathes its last breath.

 ♦♦

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