Stanley Crawford is an amazing and amazingly ill-known writer. I interviewed him when I had my radio show back in the mid-nineties. Stephen Sparks blogs elegantly at Invisible Stories and is an editor at Writers No One Reads; both are sites you should haunt every spare moment you can afford.
“Sometimes when I am weary of seeing things in that flat, three-dimensional manner once so much boasted of, two plus two, and all the rest, there seems to be no longer any precise moment when old Unguentine vanished from my life, it seems rather an almost gradual process that went on over many years and as part of a great rhythm, as if, through some gentle law of nature, his disappearance would be followed by his gradual reemergence, that he would come back, so on, so forth.”—Stanley Crawford, Log of the S.S. the Mrs Unguentine
Here we find ourselves all at sea just eight pages into Stanley Crawford’s 1972 novella, this long sentence playing out across the water to give an early inkling of the lulling bewilderment we’ll grow accustomed to in the voyage ahead. It’s narrated by Mrs Unguentine (always Mrs, just like the eponymous ship), who relates a few pages prior that her husband, man overboard Unguentine (never Mr) “had been steering all those years with no idea of what he was steering towards” and whose legacy of aimlessness she’s doing her part to maintain.