Auld JohnAvatarsGuides Wraiths Grotesqueries


"The city is empty but it is populated by wraiths, or what we shall call wraiths, they lean against walls, loiter at windows, walk across open spaces, most of them female, rounded buttocks, the usual erotic accouterments, longish legs encased in hose, sleekness, yes, silkiness, a delicious smoothness created by the nylon sheathing, encorsetted waists, shoes with heels of an improbable height, their shadows with the sweep of headlights stretching and compacting along walls and passageways..."

Who lives in the Lost City? There is the narrator, of course, and the Nocturnal Wife, and Guides who lead and deceive, and aggressively erotic Wraiths and Grotesqueries...and more. It is John's interactions with these characters which forms the bulk of the novel and movie, a few vignettes, a few flickering videos, a flash or two of imagery, flower girls and cigarette girls, old women struggling with aluminum walkers, small dogs who pant in the heat, an occasional strutting crow, the usual assemblage of crooks and matrons and insipid poets...