The Black Veil (2002) is autobiographical memoir, a story of addiction and genealogy. Problems start way back:
?My mother's mother ... lay in her massive bed in Pelham, with her liver giving out, when I was very small. My mother said to us, Come on in and say hello to your grandmother. But I didn't want to catch what she had. And I did.?
The naturalistic scenario is Zola, but the spare ?And I did? is modern and laconic.
Moody observes a fellow patient pretending to play cards with a catatonic Haitian girl in the psychiatric centre. Stan has permanently ruined his head by necking 70 acid tabs:
?This is a face card, but it?s not an actual face, it?s a two-dimensional representation of a face, and an ace isn?t a face, and a face isn?t from space, and the game isn?t a race, and I?m going to be the one to deal, because I got a feel for the deal, the real deal, it isn?t a steal, and it isn?t a base, which rhymes with a face.?
Stan?s logic carries its own rules. Although he appears to be able to distinguish the real from the representational, his conversation moves thru rhymes and resemblances rather than thru reason.