Goddamn am I enjoying Harold Brodkey’s First Love and Other Sorrows.  It’s like a vacation, or a deep (brain) tissue massage.  I know he’s really well-loved and that I am not championing some obscure writer by saying this.  But still, I need to say it. I fall head-first into his stories and the sensation is that of having a story told to me.  I don’t really notice I’m reading because his writing is so subtle with it’s devices and structure.  Are there even any devices?  It’s so smart, yet there’s no hint of cleverness.  Perhaps I’ve been reading too much current literature and am more tired of cleverness or colloquial language than I realized. The one thing I have really noticed about the writing of these stories is how direct he is with time.  Time passed, okay?  That happened, and now this is happening and there’s no grand break or shift. Some stuff happened in the interim, this is what you need to know about it.  Now lets keep going.