alexandra alger


Lurid, II

Author Michael Cunningham would raise an eyebrow at my recent off-the-cuff discussion of “lurid.”  On page 7 of his 2011 novel By Nightfall, which I impulsively picked up at the Grand Central bookstore (how did I miss this back in ’11?), he describes “a white Mercedes canted at an angle on Fifth-ninth, luridly pink in the flare light.”

Right. I missed a meaning. So lurid can mean pale as can be, and it can refer to a color that glows in a disturbing way.

And now to move beyond the lurid lights of Cunningham’s accident, in which a car hits and kills a Central Park carriage horse. I wonder why a horse had to die. Terrible! Perhaps there a critique of the New York City horse-carriage business here, or the callousness of the moneyed classes. I’ll have to read on and see.

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