Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beautiful beginnings of four of my favorite books.

He speaks in your voice, American, and there's a shine in his eye that's halfway hopeful.

See the child. He is pale and thin, he wears a thin and ragged linen shirt. He stokes the scullery fire. Outside lie dark turned fields with rags of snow and darker woods beyond that harbor yet a few last wolves. His folks are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water but in truth his father had been a schoolmaster. He lies in drink, he quotes from poets whose names are now lost. The boy crouches by the fire and watches him.

Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear. Of course no childhood is without its terrors, yet I wonder if I would hvae been a less frightened boy if Lindbergh hadn't been president or if I hasn't been the offspring of Jews.

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare to now.

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