a little east of reality

Friday, June 06, 2008

p123 line 5

Why not? Not exactly tagged, but Jeff kinda opened it to the crowd. I usually avoid this meme, but I like the old-fashioned language in the book I'm reading right now, so I thought I'd take a chance on it.

Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book. If you are currently reading something, that'll be fine too.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your Blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet I know that is what you were thinking!
6. Tag 5 people.

Here's the passage, from Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh:
Soon from the disorderly slum of her bedroom Virginia emerged spruce as a Halberdier.
'I hope you haven't made them too strong, Tommy. You know how I hate strong cocktails. Guy, your moustache.'
Actually my favourite passage (so far) in the book was right at the beginning, describing a couple on honeymoon:
Everywhere the fortunate pair were praised and petted but all was not entirely well with them. No sign or hint betrayed their distress but when the last wheels rolled away and they mounted to their final privacy, there was a sad gap between them, made by modesty and tenderness and innocence, which neither spoke of except in prayer.
Later they joined a yacht at Naples and steamed slowly up the coast, putting in at unfrequented harbours. And there, one night in their state room, all at last came right between them and their love was joyfully completed.
There are a few reasons I like it: firstly I think I just wasn't expecting that kind of detail in a book published in 1952. Secondly it was a sweet reason for them to decide to keep a house in that part of Italy. And thirdly I think it's clever how Waugh makes it perfectly clear what the problem is, without ever losing that old-fashioned delicate way of describing it. I guess it's just something you wouldn't read in a book nowadays, certainly not said in the way that it was.

Tag 5 people. Yeah, when do I ever really do that? Do if it takes your fancy.

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