Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chanty

The fact is, I didn't come across chanty in any particular work of prose or poetry. It squinched in on the same mind pew with plainte and plain song and Delphi (which I like to pronounce "Delphy," to rhyme with pelfy).

Somewhere in tonight's pew is also the line from A.R. Gurney's 1995 play Sylvia, which I read a couple of nights ago. (Sylvia was the play in which Sarah Jessica Parker played a dog named Sylvia. Reading the play made me realize how much I regret not having seen it, and it would have been entertaining to see SJP in the role.) Greg is Sylvia's owner; Kate is his wife.

GREG: Look, Kate. I liked manufacturing -- starting off in product development. I liked that. I could see what we were making, I could touch it, I could tinker. And I liked selling, too, when they bumped me up to sales. I still knew the product. I could still picture it in my mind. O.K. So then they acquire an investment company and tell me to trade. I try. I study up. I learn about oil, soybeans, corn. I read the forecasts, I figure the trends. I trade. And I do O.K. Not great, but I get by. But now they want me to trade currencies, Kate. Money markets. Derivatives. I can't do that, sweetheart. What's behind currencies? Other currencies. What's behind them? Who knows? Nothing to touch, to see, to get a purchase on. And that's what I mean when I say it's too abstract.

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