Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tangled up in

beautiful writing here and here. The first one, from Marilynne Robinson's award-winning Housekeeping, is awash with light and dark, windows and reflections and water, what is glimpsed but not known. The second one by NZ writer, Martin Edmond, is delicious, edible, sensual.

Both pieces haunt you in the way straight narratives don't because these words have a longer life than words that simply work to take a character from home to the dairy. They are like long hairs that fall on pillows and in food, thicken a brush, tangle in a wool blanket. You keep finding them, picking them out, untangling them. Not sure that metaphor works that well as there is an element of irritation - the 'yuck' factor - with discarded hairs! But the endless discovery and untangling is just right, I think, and the work required.

It's interesting, too, that both writers have long sentences with a number of sub-clauses (long, curly hairs?) that are both purposeful and open-ended with room left for the reader to wonder (wander?) long after s/he has finished reading. Have a look and see.

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