The Wide Road
Author: Carla Harryman & Lyn Hejinian
Publisher: Belladonna (2011)
What would have happened had Thelma and Louise not driven off the cliff but stayed on the road? In Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian's picaresque novella, friendship lives on to follow eros through a polymorphic landscape where their fearless, inquisitive "we" encounters "hunger in two places at once."
The Wide Road was collaboratively composed by Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian between 1991 and 2010. The cover art was drawn for this manuscript by the artist Nancy Blum, and this first edition is printed with two different cover designs.
"The Wide Road is a plethora, o’erbrimming with peregrinations, penseés, epistles, and erotic passion: 'Our very abundance has made us unsafe.' It’s cinematic like a long dream you make yourself stay asleep for to keep experiencing it, and no sooner does it settle into some groove when it switches, looks back at itself, nestles inside its own omphalos. 'What a strange pastoral landscape our picaresque buddy-being wanders in.' The companionable explorations of these dual fine minds call everything into question. The chemical excitement of that question state lights up ganglia hitherto uncharged. The Wide Road reminds me of haibun in how it expaaaands into prose and contracts into verse: it inverts & subverts Basho. The road might be made of Astroturf onto which are rolled out a number of female infants, born, terrifyingly enough, with all their (our) eggs. 'We feel sickened by biology.' From there, we just have to crawl along in fullest sensuality ('rouging droplets shimmy on our skin'), discovering things as we go with our mouths, our vaginas, our minds. The Wide Road creates / records the journey, in the way that “love opens life’s warm seams.” It is a kind of spell: 'To live in a disenchanted world is to live at a dead end. In The Wide Road ‘we’ finds enchantments.' All I want to do is read this book in a fit of languor."