14 January 2008

That was the kind of house it was.

Every so often, you run across a passage in a book that sticks with ya. I found one of those last night, marveling at the ability of a great writer to paint a picture. Suppose that's why they're considered great writers, and I'm not.

Here, from All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren (p32 in my copy):
It looked like those farmhouses you ride by in the country in the middle of the afternoon, with the chickens under the trees and the dog asleep, and you know the only person in the house is the woman who has finished washing up the dishes and has swept the kitchen and has gone upstairs to lie down for half an hour and has pulled off her dress and kicked off her shoes and is lying there on her back on the bed in the shadowy room with her eyes closed and a strand of her hair still matted down on her forehead with the perspiration. She listens to the flies cruising around the room, then she listens to your motor getting big out on the road, then it shrinks off into the distance and she listens to the flies. That was the kind of house it was.

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