January 25, 2017- Fine Writing
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) French-born, Cuban parents, American writer
It is a joy to encounter excellent writing. Here is an example I came across recently. It’s from Even the Dead, by the Irish novelist John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black; it describes a middle-aged, widowed man as he looks upon his daughter. I hope you enjoy it too.
“He looked into her face, into her eyes, her mother’s eyes, and felt a slow, wavelike spasm in the region of his diaphragm, and something heavy and warm welled up in him, as if he might be about to burst into tears. The feeling lasted no more than a second or two, but he recognized it. It was something that happened to him now and then, at unexpected moments. Anything could provoke it, a soft word spoken kindly, a sudden poignant memory, a woman’s voice heard from another room, or just the look of things, a splashy sunset, a view on a winter morning of some known place transfigured in a mist, a gleam of April light on a rained-on road―anything. It was as if, deep inside him, deep beyond his knowing, there was a still, bottomless pool of longing, of sorrow, of tenderness, out of which on these occasions there rose up, unbidden, a bright and irresistible splash, rose, and fell back again, back into those secret and forever hidden depths.”
Why not take up your pen and put together a few words. Who knows what good thing might result?