Thursday, June 08, 2006


Based on MQ Michelle Richmond's recommendation and after noticing it on a list of Time Magazine's All-Time 100 Novels, I still had little expectation of this book. My words could not possibly do Marilynne Robinson's justice. So here then is an excerpt for your reading pleasure:
Everything that falls upon the eye is apparition, a sheet dropped over the world's true workings. The nerves and the brain are tricked, and one is left with dreams that these specters loose their hands from ours and walk away, the curve of the back and the swing of the coat so familiar to imply that they should be permanent fixtures of the world, when in fact nothing is more perishable. Say that my mother was as tall as a man, and she sometimes set me on her shoulders, so that I could splash my hands in the cold leaves above our heads. Say that my grandmother sang in her throat while she sat on the bed and we laced up her big black shoes. Such detail are merely accidental. Who could know but us? And since their thoughts were bent upon other ghosts but ours, other darknesses than we had seen, why must we be left, the survivors picking among flotsam, among the small, unnoticed, unvalued clutter that was all that remained when they vanished, that only catastrophe made notable? Darkness is the only solvent. While it was dark, despite Lucille's pacing and whistling, and despite what must have been dreams (since even Sylvie came to haunt me), it seemed to me that there need not be relic, remnant, margin, residue, memento, bequest, memory, thought, track, or trace, if only the darkness could be perfect and permanent.


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