Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America
Brian Francis Slattery
From pg. 51:
The building and all its books are still intact, she knows; the employees of the library madea spontaneous pact to defend it as soon as the police force stopped working, and now they just live in the building. They hauled beds into the offices and corners of the huge reading rooms, put plaid couches against the marble walls. An army of cats patrols the halls, has litters on the stairs. She imagines that some of the librarians are fulfilling a long cherished fantasy. It’s just them and the books now, the stamped serifs, the margins smudged with fingerprints. You can still go to the library, to the yards of windows casting long stripes of light acrosss the stone floor, the long tables, the wood paneling, the paintings on the walls. You can still go and read the books. Except for the large friearms taht the librarians carry, it’s like nothing happened, as if every noon, businessmen are still eating their lunches with the lions.
I admit that being a librarian that passage resonated quite a bit for me. The imagery is even further enhanced by the fact that I’ve visited and used the New York Public Library and I have even had lunch with the lions so to speak (though I think Bryant Park is a more ideal lunching spot). That is the thing about Liberation that despite its near-future setting and ripped-from-the-headlines economic disaster it manages to combine the familiar with the strange to create an eerie resonance (or perhaps disonance). It blends past and present together in a strange amalgamation to the point where one is frequently indistinguishable from the other. Read on for more.
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