From Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table:
Recently I sat in on a master class given by the film-maker Luc Dardenne. He spoke of how viewers of his films should not assume they understood everything about the characters. As members of an audience we should never feel ourselves wiser than they; we do not have more knowledge than the characters have about themselves. We should not feel assured or certain about their motives, or look down on them. I believe this. I recognize this as a first principle of art, although I have the suspicion that many would not.
This from The Beauty of the Husband:
Printing a passage in italics is a primitive way of soliciting attention
warns Fowler’s English Usage,
appending as an example of this miserable mode of emphasis
“To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman.”
But emphasis is too general a word
for the dip and slant
that occurs in cognition just
there: singe it.
The wife goes to the mirror.
at a wife’s eyes, throat, bones of the throat.
It does not surprise her,
she cannot recall when it ever surprised her,
these bones are not the bones of the throat.
A blush tears itself in half deep
This from the story “Two Rivers”:
“His pupils’ well-meaning mothers–the widows especially–sometimes asked why he didn’t remarry; it wasn’t right for a man to be alone. He might have replied that the Academy, and his remaining family, required his full attention. Or he might have told the widows the truth: that once, not long after he and Margaret were married, he’d complimented her on a pot of yellow blossoms near the front door. She’d laughed, and blushed, and then confessed that weeks earlier, watching walk around the vegetable garden, she’d slipped out, dug up a brick-sized clump of earth which held the clear impression of his right foot, and tucked it into a flower pot. In that earth she’d planted a chrysanthemum, hoping that as it bloomed year after year so would his love for her. How should he marry again, after that?”
Here’s the trailer for a Korean movie where an “oblivion virus” is butterflying around Korea wiping out people’s memories. Tourists come, of course. There’s a birthing scene in the ocean that is amazing.
This virus is kind of like the epidemic in my island story. Maybe the germation of the idea? Maybe I just stole it?
Here’s more about the movie. It’s crazy in the awesome way that many Korean movies are crazy.
This from Disgrace:
“His hopes must be more temperate: that somewhere from amidst the welter of sound there will dart up, like a bird, a single authentic note of immortal longing.”