In his 1980 novel Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins establishes a key theme early in the book in a neatly self-referential passage from Chapter 2:
Albert Camus wrote that the only serious question is whether to kill yourself or not.
Tom Robbins wrote that the only serious question is whether time has a beginning and an end.
Camus clearly got up on the wrong side of the bed, and Robbins must have forgotten to set the alarm.
There is only one serious question. And that is:
Who knows how to make love stay?
The late Dan Fogelberg picked up on that theme in his song Make Love Stay, one of two new songs that appeared on his 1982 Greatest Hits album. In the liner notes he dedicated the song to "Dr. Robbins and the Woodpecker" (Dr. Robbins refers to the author as well as to a character from Robbins' 1976 novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues), and later described the song as a "sinuous piece written around a chapter of Tom Robbins' Still Life with Woodpecker." The song employs many images from the book, including moonlight, mystery, and fire.
Fogelberg, who died in 2007, was an admitted fan of literature. "I love reading," he said during a live MSN chat in 2000. "My favorite writer is Jim Harrison. I am currently reading Sterling Hayden's wonderful autobiography Wanderer. I'm also trying to get to Tom Robbins' new novel. I've also read all the Patrick O'Brien books and the Hornblower series. Great stuff."
Submitted by Stacy Clopton Yates.
Still Life with Woodpecker (Kindle Edition)
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Kindle Edition)