The Map and the Territory

A profile of Ellroy published a few years ago mentioned his plot outlines: The Black Dahlia’s ran to 142 pages (the book itself is 358 pages long in paperback) and that of L.A. Confidential to 211 (the paperback has 496). At the time, he had just finished the outline for Tabloid; it came to 345 pages, while the book itself runs a mere 576. This is reminiscent of Borges’s famous map which is the same size as the country it describes.

Luc Sante


opening lines

Nous voici encore seuls.

(Here we are, alone again.)

Death on the Installment Plan



FEBRUARY 13, 1975

Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s:
tomorrow I’ll think about
that. Always nervous, even
after a good sleep I’d like
to climb back into. The sun
shines on yesterday’s new-
fallen snow and yestereven
it turned the world to pink
and rose and steel-blue
buildings. Helene is restless:
leaving soon. And what then
will I do with myself? Some-
one is watching morning
TV. I’m not reduced to that
yet. I wish one could press
snowflakes in a book like flowers.

James Schuyler