Posts Tagged ‘DuBose Heyward’

4th September
written by Tony
This isn't the ogirinal, but, stupidly, I forgot to take a picture.

This isn't the ogirinal, but, stupidly, I forgot to take a picture.

Wandering down the stacks in the fiction section of our local library branch Steph and I stumbled across this little yellow book nestled on the second shelf from the top. It has obviously been rebound into a quaint yellow cover with what appears to be a blue owl debossed on the cover (I would later learn this is, in fact, a vulture, or “Charleston Eagle,” to be precise) and the large name “Porgy” down the spine. Having recently been to Charleston and through Catfish row it seemed only reasonable to pick this book up. Porgy is set in the black tenements of Charleston in the early 20th century. It centers on the exploits of the eponym Porgy over the course of one summer. Porgy is a beggar and has a deformity that denies him the use of his legs, and after the source of his mobility (Peter and his horse) is unjustly jailed, he takes to getting around in a small cart pulled by a slowly putrefying goat. It’s interesting, for the purpose of this story, to note that a porgy is a bottom feeding fish that swims in shallow waters. Bottom feeder that he is, Porgy’s meager livelihood depends on the kindness of passing strangers as well as his “regulars” and suffers for a time at the hands of goat stink and rampant dice playing. Eventually a transient woman of ill repute named Bess moves in with Porgy and they begin to have the trappings of a stable life together. It so happens that Bess “belongs” to a man named Crown, a man Porgy witnessed murdering another over a gambling dispute and who is now currently on the run. (more…)