& Mirrors: Cross-references in the Lew Griffin novels
THE LONG-LEGGED FLY
17-21: Encounter with Blackie and Café au Lait is echoed/varied in Black Hornet (89-94; names are Leo Tate and Clifford in the latter book, though, whereas its Will Sansom and unnamed in Fly). Corene Davis and the Black Hand also reappear in the later novel.
29: Lew thinking back to when he killed Harry (5), Angie, the girl he avenged, and her young child.
89: Lew refers to first meeting LaVerne; this "gap" will be plugged in Moth (142-44).
137: Lews thoughts about "palimpsest" and "tabula rosa" link back to page 102.
157: LaVerne, at the end of the 1984 section, reveals that she's been working in a rape crisis centre, anticipating further revelations/details in Moth (28-33) and Cricket (5).
163: Boudleaux, Lew's Cajun detective character in his novels, finds an echo in Black Hornet as the man who hires Lew to do debt collection work and in Moth as an old acquaintance who works as a P.I.
163-82: Search for David will find an echo and resolution in Eye of the Cricket.
180: Silent telephone calls (from David); these will resurface on tape in Moth (65) and Eye of the Cricket (82, 183).
182: Fiction is echoed in opening page of Eye of the Cricket; in Fly Boudleaux is to tell an "old man" that his son is dead; in Cricket he is to tell "me" that my son is dead.
183: "The following days are as blurred as that one moment is distinct." – the beginning of Lew's Nighttown sequence, recounted in Eye of the Cricket (156-79).
3: Flashing back to Lew waking up with DT's in Touro Infirmary in The Long-Legged Fly (95); character of Teresa Hunt, with her reddish hair and British accent, echoes Vicky in Fly.
4: Reference to Vicky recalls her words to Lew in Fly (129).
8: Passage summarizing LaVerne's adult life intersects with elements of Fly and Black Hornet. For example, when her doctor husband "cut her loose," coincides with when Vicky returns to the UK at the end of the 1984 section of Fly (157).
12: Lew remembers the telegrams his mother sent him in the 1964 section of Fly at the time of his father's heart attack and then his death.
17: Boudleaux: this was the name of Lew's detective in his early novels in Fly. He will be Lew's employer in the 1960s-based Black Hornet.
30: Reference to a review of Black Hornet, anticipating the next Lew Griffin volume (itself a flashback to the 1960s).
31: Reference to Lew and Verne's reunion after Vicky's departure and the break-up of Verne and Guidry's marriage at the end of the 1984 section of Fly.
54: Woman with hawk in the hospital echoes Jim's short story Alaska.
56: Allusion to Jim's poem, To a Russian Friend.
64-65: List of things both reported and unreported from other novels; reflections on a life – Lew with his father, with Vicky, with LaVerne; David's postcard and his telephone calls in which he never spoke (mentioned at the end of Fly, 180; will reappear in Cricket, 82 and 183).
66: Reference to the halfway house in which Lew temporarily resided in the 1984 section of Fly and to Jimmi(e) Smith from same section.
68: Reference to Yeats also echoes the title of The Long-Legged Fly.
68: Another reference to Vicky/Fly.
85: Allusion to opening of Fly's 1984 section, and Lew being helped by Don and Vicky. Plus reference to long-standing friendship of Verne.
94: Back at start of the book, after the flashbacks ("So, midnight, raining, …").
96: Reference to Lew's book The Old Man; the one he finishes at the end of Fly and on which he is working in Cricket (i.e. there's a blurring of the chronology here. Roughly it runs Fly 1964; Black Hornet; Bluebottle; Fly 1970; Fly 1984; Moth; Fly 1990; Eye of the Cricket, itself overlapping with the last two pages of Fly. But here Old Man has already been published – the vagaries of an old man's memories?).
120: Another reference to Vicky/Fly .
122: Reference to "Convenience Kills" foreshadows the fifth Griffin novel, Bluebottle (153). In chronological terms, this is a flashback. The slogan, which Lew sees spray-painted on a wall, is also referred to in Cricket (163). See also Jim's essay, Living Without History, collected in Gently Into the Land of Meateaters.
122: Allusion to Jim's poem, Poems.
131-32: Reference to David's disappearance from his university, recounted in 1990 section of Fly.
132: Another reference to Vicky/Fly . Also to LaVerne.
141: First paragraph recalls Lew's first encounter with Vicky, his father's death, the Cordelia Clayson and Corene Davis cases (blurred here into the person of "Cordelia Davis"), all from Fly. Also alludes to Verne in hospital leading up to her death immediately prior to the start of this novel.
142-44: Plugging a gap: Lew and Verne's first meeting and their burgeoning friendship/relationship, links back to vague reference to first meeting in Fly (89). Comments about helping out debtors (143) are echoed in Hornet (17-18).
156: Yet again, flashing back to when he first encountered Vicky, waking up in hospital with the DT's.
169: Quotation from David Lunde's poem, An Interesting Signal/A Very Dull Movie. "We must learn to put our distress signals in code" echoes a line quoted in the 1964 section of Fly (36): You must learn to put your distress signals in code. Here Lew claims to have only read the line recently in a magazine, reinforcing the idea of a man in the 1990s looking back on his life; blurred memories and the spiralled nature of time.
171: Alouette's reference to Lew being a bodyguard back in the late 1960s anticipates Black Hornet.
173: Ditto her reference to a sniper who many believe Lew killed.
174: Reference to Vicky and Cherie Smith in the 1984 section of Fly, as well as generally to Verne.
197-98: Remembering the search for David and his calls: flashing back to end of Fly and anticipating Cricket.
202: Lew gets shot, possibly anticipating Bluebottle even though that takes place in the 1960s. When he comes to in hospital the nurse's accent is British, recalling both Vicky in Fly and Teresa earlier in Moth.
207: First line anticipates ending of Cricket, when Alouette returns.
208: "Alouette was gone. Gone into the darkness that took my son, the darkness that took her mother, the darkness that is so much in us all." – Example of tying in the different strands within and across the books. The downbeat ending of Moth will find a more upbeat counterpart in the ending of Cricket.
4: Comments about youth an history echo similar obervations made in Jim's short story, Letter to a Young Poet.
8-9: The blues lyrics sung by Buster Robinson (and taken from Robert Johnson) echoes an allusion in Moth (117).
11: Frankie DeNoux and Boudleaux & Associates. Echoes and mirrors: Boudleaux recalls Lew's detective from his crime novels at the end of Fly and the Metairie-based P.I. in Moth ; DeNoux also echoes the latter and Manny in Fly (but Boudleaux himself mentioned later). Lew working as debt collector (in the 1960s) also echoes Fly, when he worked as a collector in the 1984 section. On page 13 he gets work as a bodyguard, recalling Alouette's comments in Moth (171).
17-18: Story of Lew as a debt collector earlier in the 1960s who made a gift of his own money to debtors echoes comments Lew made to Alouette in Moth (143).
22-23: Esmé's death, shot by the rooftop sniper, will be recalled in Cricket (109-11) and varied in Bluebottle.
28: Reference to Boudleaux, the person ("Far as I knew, no one had ever seen him.").
31: Description of house, with its slave quarters where Lew currently lives, and of the property's "literary" history, echoes Lew as novelist and occupant in the other books. Reinforces notion of spiral time and history repeating itself; as was the case with the previous occupant, Lew tenancy will be distinguished both by his literary creativity and his alcoholism.
34-37: Lew and Hosie's first drink together after Esmé's death is recalled and varied/expanded in Cricket (109-111).
39: Flashback to Esmé's death and reaching for her hand (22)
48: Echo of Esmé's comments on the minstrel O'Carolan (19-20).
60: Allusion to Himes foreshadows Lew listening to and meeting him later in Hornet (96-100). The passage also serves to reiterate the whole concept of Lew in the 1990s reflecting back on his life and writing about (fictionalizing?) it.
64: "A nurse came in to take vital signs and see if I needed anything. She had pale skin, red hair. I thanked her as she left." Echoes of Vicky from Fly.
67: Don refers to Lew as "Sailor". Echoes the way Clare addresses him in Moth (e.g. 50). Elsewhere in the books he's also referred to as "soldier," especially by Verne.
77: Comments about LaVerne's affect on Lew's life echo those of Moth (85, 144).
86-87: Lew possibly meets the Lew of Cricket's Nighttown sequence. Foreshadowing. Duality.
90-94: Encounter with Blackie and Café au Lait echoes Fly (17-21).
92: Story of the Doughboy statue and its face blackened with shoe polish is repeated from Lew's childhood reflections in Moth (81).
101: Lew barefoot will be echoed and varied in Cricket (157).
126: Corene Davis recalls Fly's 1964 section.
143: Flashes back to both Esmé's death and reaching for her hand (22) and to the rooftop sniper fleeing after Lew had scared him away from Don (57).
145: Esmé's last words (about the need for food) are echoed in the narrative/Lew's thoughts (22).
149-50: Compression, plugging of gaps, looking back on life. We learn that Lew will meet his first wife Janie after these events (even though, in Fly, they were already divorced in the 1964 section, some 4 or 5 years earlier); mention of David missing, flashing back to end of Fly and anticipating Cricket; allusion to Verne's death, recalling Moth. Plus general reference to Lew's alcoholism.
151: Actions of rooftop sniper flashes back to him disappearing after nearly killing Don (57).
164: Allusion to Hitchcock's Vertigo anticipates Carl Joseph's demise (168).
169: Again, remembering Esmé falling away from him (22) and recognizing it, on a metaphoric level, as a life pattern for his personal relationships. Again, this notion of an elderly Lew in the 1990s looking back on his life.
170: Esmé's last words (about the need for food) are echoed once again in the narrative/Lew's thoughts (22).
172: Revelation that Verne knew Carl Joseph.
177: Revelation that Bonnie Bitler is Carl Joseph's mother.
EYE OF THE CRICKET
1: Book opens with a reference to a storm; links back to the end of Black Hornet when there was also a storm.
1: Fiction: reference to the The Old Man, the galleys of which Lew was reading at the end of Fly. The protagonist is the Cajun PI Boudleaux. Lew is rewriting and/or reimagining it at this point? ("The first real writing I'd done in over four years, though a novel not so much new as reimagined.") It will eventually become a sequel to Mole (146).
1: Reference to Vicky, from Fly ; fiction/book began as a letter to her in Paris.
1: "It was midnight, it was raining." Echoes of the end of Fly and the start of Moth.
3: Buster Robinson remembered (and his death recounted); Lew's friend and the bluesman from Black Hornet.
5: Reference to LaVerne and her work with Richard Garces, previously recounted in Moth (28-33).
5: Comments about relationship with LaVerne echo Moth (85, 144) and Hornet (77).
5: Reference to disappearance of Lew's son David echoes end of Fly and foreshadows later sections of Cricket.
5: LaVerne's words that Lew remembers vaguely echo a conversation he had with her after the suicide of pornographer Bud Sanders in the 1970 section of Fly (88-89).
8: Memories of Alouette and Baby Girl McTell from Moth.
8: Memories/lines from the original The Old Man.
10-11: Reference to the Nighttown sequence in Joyce's Ulysses foreshadows Lew's own Nighttown sequence later in Cricket (156–79) and vaguely anticipated in Fly (183).
10: Hosie Straughter remembered from Black Hornet.
10–11: Mrs Mara echoes the Miss Mara of Moth (177-78).
11: "Let's look, then, at this most telling of resurfacings from the Nighttown sequence: the sudden appearance of Bloom's dead son, which ends it." – Lew's comment anticipates the end of his own Nighttown sequence (180) when he will be reunited with his son David, whom he had for so long presumed dead.
15: Memories of Carl Joseph, the rooftop sniper's, death in Hornet (168) and Lew's later conversation with his mother, Bonnie Bitler (176-78). [N.B. Lew here claims to have been 20 and new to New Orleans, whereas in Fly he was in the city in 1964 and already established.]
15: Memories of the Claysons (here referred to as the Claytons), Thomas and Martha, from the 1970 section of Fly, when Lew informs them that their daughter, Cordelia, is dead and watches them "turn to stone" (88, 90). Also memories of Bud Sanders, Cordelia's pornographer lover, and his suicide, which he filmed (82).
15-16: Verne's words about being on a train, as remembered by Lew, are almost a word for word repetition from Fly's 1970 section (91).
21: Chapter closes with a possible allusion to Lew's first encounter with his wife Janie, first recounted in Black Hornet (149-50).
24: Recap of the search for David at the end of Fly, involving Columbia University colleagues, Vicky and her husband in Paris, and Dooley in New York.
30: Reference to Baby Girl McTell in Moth (5, 105).
32: Reference to Moth; missing classes while searching for Alouette. History is repeating itself. Spiral time; repetition and variation.
37: Raymond Marcus refers to the popular legend that Lew killed Carl Joseph in Black Hornet.
37: Bat the cat is from Moth (51-52) and originally belonged to Clare Fellman; there will be more on Clare and Bat in Cricket (46-48).
46-48: Clare and Bat from Moth. Possibly filling in a gap after the end of Moth? In that, book, Clare had found another man and stopped seeing Lew (170), although they speak on the phone at the end of the novel. Here Lew claims that he moved in and lived with her for a while until she died (the suggestion being that he lived with her from the time of the fight with T.C.: Moth , 47-50). During that time she had been writing for Hosie Straughter's newspaper The Griot.
60: Words appearing randomly in Lew's thoughts: echoes Fly (102).
60: Don's words to Lew about finding live bodies for a change: in the books he has found Bud Sanders after he committed suicide in Fly (80-81), a woman's body in Moth (35), and now a young man's body (Dap/Daryl Anthony Payne) where Armantine Rauch lives.
61: Clare again.
64: Lew continues writing the "reimagined" version of The Old Man /sequel to Mole. The sentence also echoes his first encounter with LaVerne, which he described to Alouette in Moth (142-43). There is also an echo from the latter part of Hornet, when Lew commnets that he has seen Verne wearing a red dress he's seen in Carl Joseph's apartment (172). Lew acknowledges that he is writing about Verne at the start of the next chapter. In Fly he had told Verne that he was going to put someone like her in his next book (176).
65: Clare again and her death, previously mentioned on page 47.
68: LaVerne's words to Lew in Fly (176) about living alone even when he's with someone; Vicky, Jimmi Smith and his murder, and Jimmi Smith's sister, Cherie, from the 1984 section of Fly; Alouette and Baby Girl McTell from Moth .
69: Dream with characters from the "reimagined" The Old Man/sequel to Mole.
70: In conversation with Don there is probably an allusion to Lew being in hospital after being shot towards the end of Moth.
70: "Memory holds you down while regret and sorrow kick hell out of you: I'd written that in The Old Man." Actually in Fly (178).
71: Allusion to one of Jim's own poems (title?).
72: More from the "reimagined" novel; it gradually becomes the story of Verne and Lew, but recounted in the first-person from her point of view.
79: Reference to Hosie Straughter and his newspaper The Griot from Black Hornet and to Lew's novel Mole, which was first mentioned in Moth (107-8).
80-82: Vicky inviting Cherie to stay with them in Fly (152); Jimmi Smith reading his book on economics in Fly (108); Richard Garces explaining the work LaVerne did in her later years in Moth (28-30); conversation with Dr. Guidry brings back memories of their encounter in Moth and of Alouette; memories of Clare, from Moth; telephone call in which no words are spoken, brings back memories of David and the similar calls, previously mentioned in Fly (180) and Moth (65); will reappear in Cricket (183).
83: Allusion to Jim's novel, Renderings.
83: Memories of Vicky, LaVerne, and Alouette (Fly, Moth).
84: Further reference to Hosie and The Griot.
85: Further allusion to Jim's novel, Renderings.
86-87: Lew reads the notebook, which had been filled by the hospitalized Lew Griffin2. It contains a version of The Old Man retold in diary format. In other words, Cricket contains two retellings of The Old Man, but in a way is itself, at least in part, The Old Man mentioned at the end of Fly.
88: Reference to putting distress signals in code echoes both Fly (36) and Moth (169).
95: The scarred hero (echoes of Robicheaux in the novels of James Lee Burke). The gunshot wound on Lew's shoulder is from the end of Moth, when Lew was shot by Dean Treadwell's son, Marcus. Where is the knife scar low in his ribs from?
96: Reference to O'Carolan recalls Esmé's words in Hornet (19-20).
107-8: Plugging gaps. Lew thinks back to the various times he's been arrested, encounters with racists, etc.
109-12: Frankie DeNoux remembered from Hornet; Alouette's note from Moth (206); first meeting and friendship with Hosie remembered from Hornet; Esmé remembered from Hornet; Carl Joseph's death remembered from Hornet (168); LaVerne remembered; use of the term "long-legged" recalls title of the first Griffin novel; memories of David's disappearance at the end of Fly.
119: Reintroduction of Sally Mara and Kyle Skillman, reminding us of Lew's job as a university lecturer, linking back to the lecture on Joyce (9-12), and preparing the way for Lew's own Nighttown sequence. Also a reference to Lew's novel, the original The Old Man.
122: Offers to help Keith LeRoy follow an academic route, partly because he hasn't done enough to help LaVerne, Alouette, and David in his life; echoes, then, of Fly and Moth.
124: Reference to Dean Treadwell's wife being a fan of Lew's books; echoes Moth (182).
126-27: Clare writing reviews and being in hospital recalled earlier in Cricket (46-47); LaVerne, martinis, and childhood train journeys in Fly (90-91) and Cricket (15-16); photo of Verne given to Lew by Richard Garces, possible echo of Moth, when the two men first meet (27-33); the imagined conversation with Verne mirrors those between Robicheaux and his dead wife Annie in James Lee Burke's novels; memories of parents, with possible fragments previously mentioned in Fly and Moth (with bits of Jim Sallis's own life, as an avid young reader, woven in too).
138: Lew tells DeSalle how he and Don met one another while seeking out the rooftop sniper; echoes of Black Hornet (58).
144: The outside bench and memories of life with Verne. And reference to David's disappearance at the end of Fly.
146: "Reimagined" novel finally becomes a sequel to Mole. Self-reflexivity and literary creation: "My letter to Vicky, which had turned into a reinvention of The Old Man, then into a memoir of LaVerne, later into some Cocteauesque fantasy of men in black tuxedos and women in white dresses emerging from cave mouths or subways, had resolved with absolute simplicity, in a matter of twelve or fourteen intense, ever-surprising hours, into a sequel to my prison novel, Mole." Further thought on this on page 148. See also page 188.
147: Reference to mother's disapproval of Lew's constant reading linking back to page 127.
152: Raymond Marcus again makes reference to the death of Carl Joseph; echoes of Black Hornet. Also memories of life with parents and sister.
154: Acknowledgement of the importance of Lew's kitchen table in the books and the many conversations he has enjoyed sat at it with Don, Verne, Alouette, et al.
156-79: Lew's Nighttown sequence, echoing Joyce's Ulysses.
156-57: Echoes of Fly's 1984 section, when Lew first gets out of hospital after a long drunk and wanders the city, with the words tabula rasa and palimpsest drifting into his mind (102); plus echoes of Black Hornet, with a possible blurring of the time spent with bluesman Buster Robinson early in the book and later on the heavy night's drinking with Chester Himes followed by similar wanderings of the city, this time barefoot (101).
164-165: Links back to earlier scene in Cricket when Lew visited charitable missions to find where Lew Griffin2 might have come by his clothes and the copy of The Old Man (43-44).
166: The Legend of Lew: story of Lew in his debt collecting days echoes those told in other books, as in, for example, Cornell's recollections in Hornet (17). See also Esmé's comments in Hornet (2) and Lew's comments to Alouette in Moth (143-44).
167: Dialogue between Lew and his bunkmate in the mission echoes an earlier conversation he had with Lola Park in Cricket (74).
170: Reference to Buster Robinson from Hornet.
172-79: Lew finds Lew Griffin2 during his underworld odyssey, linking us back to the early pages of the book when Craig Parker first rang him about the homeless man in hospital.
174:The Old Man, Mole, Skull Meat : reference to books Lew had written in the 1990 section of Fly and in Moth.
177: Direct quote from the ending of The Old Man, previously cited in Fly (179).
178: David's remembered words to Robert Lee/Lew Griffin2 ("you're going to be okay") anticipate those to Lew two pages later.
182: Final linking of David and The Old Man (they have been connected throughout the book), with him confessing that it is his personal favourite of all of Lew's novels.
182: David refers to a key moment in Lew's childhood when his father brought it home to him how insignificant he, as an African American, was to the whites around him; this was previously recounted by Lew in Moth (82).
183: David refers to the telephone calls he made without speaking. He also mentions that Lew has written about the calls; they have featured or been mentioned in Fly (180), Moth (65), and Cricket (82). Self-reflexivity as a recurrent motif.
185: Buster Robinson mentioned again.
186: Don and Lew meeting after hunting the rooftop sniper in Hornet (57-58); Don suicidal in Moth (69-74); David's disappearance at the end of Fly and as a constant source of pain to Lew through Moth and Cricket; and Danny's entropic trajectory towards death and the grief experienced by Don in Cricket.
186: Lew/the narrator gets ahead of himself, anticipating the fact that both Deborah and Alouette will move into the house with Lew, David, and Zeke.
188: Self-reflexivity, linking back to page 146: describing the metamorphosis of the rewriting of The Old Man and actually referencing pages 1, 64, and 69.
188-89: Acknowledgement of the loves of his life: Vicky, LaVerne, Clare, and Deborah.
190: Return of Alouette and memories of Moth when Lew sat by her side in the hospital and told her about when he first met Verne (142-44).
9: Lew coming to in the hospital echoes many sequences from the other novels, notably the first encounter with Vicky in Fly.
13: Reference to Skull Meat, one of the books Lew wrote in 1990 section of Fly. Note how Don's recollections of Lew's conversation carries a suggestion of Camus's L'Etranger too.
15-16: Lew's encounter with Dana Esmay echoes his encounter with Esmé Dupuy in Black Hornet, to the extent that Buster Robinson is again playing the blues in the background. This time it is Lew, rather than the woman, who gets shot, although, as will be revealed towards the end of the novel, the bullet was intended for the woman, who was the target of the mafia.
21: A. C. Boudleaux mentioned: this was Lew's Cajun detective character in his novels towards the end of Fly. In Black Hornet he was the man who hired Lew to do debt collection work and in Moth was an old acquaintance who works as a P.I.
28: Again, echoes of Hornet. Dana, like Esmé, is a journalist.
34: Cast of visitors – Sam Brown, Frankie DeNoux, Bonnie Bitler, Achilles Boudleaux – link up with the other novels, particularly Black Hornet, which Bluebottle most closely parallels, with faint "echoes & mirrors" throughout. The situation and some of the names also recall Lew's hospital awakening in Hornet (61) after saving Don's life.
37: Leper story echoes a radio broadcast Lew listens to in Hornet, 114.
41: Allusion to car journey with LaVerne after Vicky's departure for Europe at the end of the 1984 section of Fly (158). Both include Verne's observation: "Whatever works. You wait and see."
47: Lew's words of regret about losing Verne echo many passages throughout the novels.
48: Baby Girl Teller echoes Baby Girl McTell in Moth.
59: Reference to Don's wife Josie, who is frequently mentioned in Moth.
75: Verne's comments about Lew picking up strays recalls (or, rather, anticipates in chronological terms) scenes and friendships throughout the Griffin novels.
86: Italicized sequence links back both to Lew's recollections-cum-dream about Dana (27-28) and to the sequence in Hornet (20-23) leading up to Esmé's death.
88: Verne's sleepy, sexy, slightly cross-eyed look links back to page 22.
91: Reference to Lew having killed a man links back to the opening pages of Fly.
103: Overt reference to Lew's Nighttown sequence in Cricket (156-79).
110: Neruda reference links back to Lew in the hospital talking to Verne (23).
129: Description of the streelight effect vaguely echoes the tree's "skeletal hand" of page 56. The image is one that is repeated and varied throughout Jim's short story, poetry and essay work; see, for example, the story, And then the dark–, and the poem, Temptation of Silence.
130: Verne lists a few of Lew's cases: "the Clayson girl" is a reference to the Cordelia Clayson case from the 1970 section of Fly . Unsure of the other two references.
130: Quote from James Wright; the same words served as the epigraph to Moth.
131: Verne's "older man" is possibly her future first husband, Horace Guidry, who appears in Moth and briefly in Cricket.
135: Sam Brown, formerly of SeCure Corps: links to/echoes of Hornet.
141: Use of the term "shelled in" echoes a similar description on page 29. Both descriptions in turn echo the final paragraphs of Jim's short story, Faces, Hands: The Floors of His Heart , as well as a passage in his story, A Few Last Words.
153: Reference to "Convenience Kills!" spray-painted slogan echoes both Moth (122) and Cricket (163). See also Jim's essay, Living Without History, collected in Gently Into the Land of Meateaters.
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