Thursday, 10 June 2010


This morning I came upon the following paragraph in a story by William Maxwell. I think it is remarkable, so I am going to share it with y'all.

"The tragic heroine takes everything into consideration. That is her trouble, the thing that paralyzes her. While her lawyer is explaining to her the advantages of separate maintenance over an outright divorce, she considers the shape of his hands and how some people have happiness while they are young, and then,later, nothing but unhappiness."

There seems to me to be so much in these lines that we hardly need a story into which to place them. It is also rhythmically satisfying: I love the staccato of commas towards the end, following the long clauses. Marvellous. The paragraph is from 'The Trojan Women' by William Maxwell.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is the moment to drag out from hiding, as it cowers in shame behind the sofa in the TV room where Californian teen soaps are playing on loop, the word 'awesome', and introduce it to its rightful soulmate, a paragraph like this.