“It did not take many working days before I understood that the land itself, from sod to meadow, is inflexible and stern. It is impatient, in fact. It cannot wait. There’s not a season set aside for pondering and reveries. It will not let us hesitate or rest; it does not wish us to stand back and comment on its comeliness or devise a song for it. It has no time to listen to our song. It wants to see us leathery, our necks and forearms burned as black as chimney oak; it wants to leave us thinned and sinewy from work.”
This is an impressive piece of voice, which makes sense coming from Crace, who is an excellent stylist. Walter Thirsk’s narration of the dissolution of his village is perfectly constructed by his author, mannered enough to be timeless without becoming archaic, and methodical enough to serve character without cheating interest or incident.
April 23, 2013, 10:41am Comments