When Nature needs to speak, she will // Reach into her washbag of wet roots // Pull back handfuls of filberts, gambol // The dice down a road // Lined with Black Locust trees
What she regrets most about her life // Is that the brash piece of siding that always swings // Apart from the rest of the house // Gives it all away // About what is inside
Brace yourself. Try to imagine a world in which the violin has become "nearly obsolete." I know, right?! You've nearly fallen to your knees, begging for mercy, asking yourself why. Why, great creator, did humanity ever get to this point? I am a big fan of the violin. Yet, when Trollope kicks off his futuristic dystopia novella The Fixed Period with this absolutely chilling vision, it signals that although Trollope is one of the most skilled Victorian Realist writers, the man had next to no imagination.
From the first chapter of Robert Jordan's *The Eye of the World,* the motive of the quest is clear: to save masculinity and, hence, all life. When masculinity is tainted and corrupted, all life suffers, and it must be redeemed if life will continue in the Light. Jordan does a great job highlighting a point that we continue to struggle with into the 21st century: this belief that masculinity must be unadulturated, straightforward, clean and clear...or else.
An affluent womanizer, Tony Bream. The nicest, sweetest girl, Jean Martle. A desperate lover abroad too long in China, Dennis Vidal. The odd Rose Arminger. They all seem like characters from the famed game Clue. In The Other House, Henry James writes an awkward murder mystery vis a vis a novel of manners that begins with some piquant flavor of the supernatural
Hilarious dialogue, telling imagery, and one of the most paranoid and depraved characters in fiction made visualizing this text taking place physically before me easy.
When I picked up a novel with a stunning title like Noli Me Tangere (Touch me Not), I expected to encounter a work dredged in corporeal, visceral experience and language. I wanted a novel centered on the function of touch: human interaction, physicality, phenomenology, flesh. I didn't get this in Jose Rizal's incredible text, but I didn't really feel disappointed in not getting what I wanted -- because in some ways I received a more meaningful gift.