Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Large Words, No Despair, Just Hats and Caps and Shoes


The blue costume, the greasy hair, are details, signs of a moderate realism. Supply the particulars, allow the significations to emerge of themselves. A procedure pioneered by Daniel Defore. Robinson Crusoe, cast up upon the beach, looks around for his shipmates. But there are none. "I never saw them afterwards, or any sign of them," says he, "except three of their hats, one cap, and two shoes that were not fellows." Two shoes, not fellows: by not being fellows, the shoes have ceased to be footwear and become proofs of death, torn by the foaming seas off the feet of the drowning men and tossed ashore. No large words, no despair, just hats and caps and shoes.

-J.M. Coetze from his novel Elizabeth Costello

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Follow mendelsohnjon on Twitter