the air is full of volume and green and haze. my adventure is about to commence. i am jetlagged. i finished the elegance of the hedgehog and am awed by barbery’s mastery of language and description.
here she describes trees:
there’s so much humanity in a love of trees, so much nostalgia for our first sense of wonder, so much power in just feeling our own significance when we are surrounded by nature…yes, that’s it: just thinking about trees and their indifferent majesty and our love for them teaches us how ridiculous we are-vile parasites squirming on the surface of the earth-and at the same time how deserving of life we can be, when we can honor this beauty that owes us nothing (p.169)
when the music stops, everyone applauds, their faces all lit up, the choir radiant. it is so beautiful. in the end, i wonder if the true movement of the world might not be raised in a song. (p.185)
here, something close to love:
that is the way a summer rain can take hold in you-like a new heart, beating in time with another’s. (p.233)
here, a girl who find is exemplary of 78% of nyc youth/nyu, i also echo the narrator’s scorn:
[she was] a sort of tall blond leek who dresses like a peniless bohemian. if there is one thing i despise, it is the perverse affectation of rich people who go around dressing as if they were poor, in second-hand clothes, ill-fitting gray wool bonnets, socks full of holes, and flowered shirts under threadbare sweaters. not only is it ugly, it is also insulting: nothing is more despicable than a rich man’s scorn for a poor man’s longing. (p.242)
and my favorite, the last paragraph of the book:
thinking back on it, this evening, with my heart and my stomach all like jelly, i have finally concluded, maybe that’s what life is about: there’s a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same. it’s as if those strains of music created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within a never. Yes, that’s it, an always within never. (p.325)
right, that is what id call an infinite moment! anyhow, i am off tomorrow to la coruna and know i will miss the accent, the cyclists, the ivy, and the old bricks of oxford. typically i do.