Thursday, March 09, 2006

'Meaning at random'

The Transit of Venus
by Shirley Hazzard

The Transit of Venus
picks up chronologically where The Remains of the Day left off. But this time, war is paranthetical. Around it, there is private grief. Things are left unsaid. People reach middle age. Grief is rewarded.

The cicature of stitching on her gloves was an imprint on his brain. Earrings of pearl stared, white-eyed as fish. There was a streak of flowered scarf, inane, and the collar blue. Grief had a painter's eye, assigning arbitrary meaning at random -- like God.

At 17, getting dumped by my first boyfriend, who was in St. Louis, I stared at a living room couch -- pastels on white. Thinking, "This couch is the same. My life is changing."

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