Category Archives: Literature

Guilt at the edge

From David Adams Richards, Road to The Stilt House (1985): And things have suddenly become silent in the house. As silent as a man ashamed… I can smell it along with the spit from weeds. I listen like a criminal … Continue reading

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Pointing the finger of shame

From “The Fish”, by Paul Quarrington (1985), extracted from The Life of Hope, where the protagonist is reading extracts from The Fish, a book written by the fictional Isaiah Hope, first published in 1891, and subsequently banned: It is time … Continue reading

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Frozen Little Tombstones

From Matt Cohen, “The Zeidman Effect” (1985; later published in Living on Water [1988]) in relation to a concert pianist past his prime: Nathan Zeidman, the astonishing piano player who, after five years of mediocre performances in festivals, had suddenly … Continue reading

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From Robert Fulford, “How Martin Amis puts the personal in personal essay“, National Post, December 9, 2017, p. WP2, in relation to Martin Amis, The Rub of Time: Bellow, Nabokov, Hitchens, Travolta, Trump. Essays and Reportage, 1986-2016. We can learn … Continue reading

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Runs with my life

From an article by Holton Shulman, “U of O prof translates letters between Leo Tolstoy and wife“, The Fulcrum 78:10 (November 6, 2017): University of Ottawa Russian literature professor Andrew Donskov is no stranger to Leo Tolstoy. His entire professional … Continue reading

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Held It

From The Maestro, by Tim Wynne-Jones (1995), where the protagonist has misrepresented who he is: He couldn’t tell her the real story. Anyway, he wanted to hold onto this dream for a bit longer. Like when you walk around in … Continue reading

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From The Maestro, by Tim Wynne-Jones (1995), where a world-famous pianist and composer explains his choice to live in rustic isolation: But when I actually came here, I knew what I needed more than health, even more than the quiet, … Continue reading

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Heading Somewhere

In relation to a fourteen year-old boy running away from an abusive father and a familiar hamlet: He was too busy running away to worry yet about where he was going. And it didn’t occur to him, not on that … Continue reading

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From Jack Gance by Ward Just (1989): I was attempting to devise novel polling methods. A man’s dark heart was incomprehensible, but his mind was not. A dream was easier to discover than a nightmare.

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From Volume 3 of A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth (1993). All these words to learn. Had to read with a pen, to highlight that not known or understood. Partial list, from Volume 3. Longer list, if Volumes 1 and … Continue reading

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