Suspension of Disbelief

October 6, 2011

Rita Lee came back with a frozen Milky Way and some confession magazines and comic books.  She read about a miser duck called Uncle Scrooge, and his young duck nephews, whose adventures took place in a city where all the bystanders, the figures on the street, were anthropoid dogs walking erect.  Norwood read about Superman and the double-breasted-suited Metropolis underworld.  It was a kryptonite story and not a bad one.  He went through the book in no time at all and rolled it up and stuck it in his pocket.  “Did you ever see that dude on television?” he said.

Rita Lee looked up with annoyance from her duck book.  “Who?”


“Yeah, and I know what you’re going to say, he killed himself, the one who played Superman.”

“It looks all right when you’re reading it.  I didn’t believe none of it on television.”

“You’re not supposed to really believe it.”

“You’re supposed to believe it a little bit.  I didn’t believe none of it.”

– Charles Portis, Norwood (1966)


3 Responses to “Suspension of Disbelief”

  1. roadgeek6570 Says:

    I recently read this stunning book, and would recommend it to anyone. Most will only associate Portis with “True Grit”, but I’ve learned to check into other books by authors who have one tour de force under their belt; their other works are often just as good or better. “Norwood” would never be filmable in the same way as “True Grit”, and never got the attention it so richly deserved.

    • Stephen Bowie Says:

      Indeed ,,, and yet I am curious about the 1970 film version, which, based on the cast list, appears to have been pretty faithful to the plot of not the tone. I’d love to find it but I don’t think it’s surfaced anywhere since it used to run often on … let’s see … either CBN/The Family Channel or A&E, probably cut to ribbons, when I was a kid. Should’ve been Joe Don Baker or Charles Napier in the title role instead of Glen Campbell, though.

  2. Benzadmiral Says:

    I recall seeing the 1970 film version in theatres, as I was and am a big Kim Darby fan. It’s episodic, Campbell is not much better an actor than he was in “True Grit,” and it has some Mac Davis songs. That’s about all I remember.

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