Thursday, September 02, 2010

Her Winter Clothes

Lucjan slipped his hands into the warmth of Jean's neck and unwound her scarf. He pushed his hands under her beret and loosened between the comb of his fingers her hair, cold as metal, from the winter street. Jean held up her arms and he drew her sweater over her head. Piece by piece, her winter clothes fell to the floor. She no longer knew which parts of her were cold and which were burning hot. She felt the roughness of his sweater and his trousers down all the length of her and it was this roughness that she would always remember -- scrubbed in her nakedness by his clothes and his smell.

The first phase of the hosting portion of my vacation week has ended.
I have a friend staying with me now, but he is not high maintenance. So I have had time to finally finish this Anne Michaels book, The Winter Vault.
I feel that it was an exquisite read. I'd like to go on to her former novel at some point in time [Fugitive Pieces]… I liken the feel of her writing to Michael Ondaatje.
The Winter Vault is a thought-provoking, searing, and mostly sad novel about displacement and loss. The author writes in that non plot-driven, poetic, oft-aphoristic way that I tend to love from time to time. There is a sense of intensified awareness throughout -- the characters bristle with a readiness.
I chose the above excerpt as an example of the poetry of the prose.
Notice that Lucjan does not loosen her hair between the comb of his fingers.
He loosens between the comb of his fingers her hair.

Check out this excellent [intelligent / critical] review by Sam at BOOK CHASE.


Stefanie said...

You'll love Fugitive Pieces when you read it!

Anonymous said...

Are you implying that your brother was high mantenance?