Sunday, March 12, 2006

Saul and Patsy

I recently started to read the new Charles Baxter book and it is unbelievably brilliant. Baxter is back to his eloquent best. Feast of Love may not have been his best and unfortunately his publishers choose that book to introduce him to the UK. Every single page of this book I love, it makes me soar. You escape, you fly into the relationship of these two lovers and their awkward relationship in a small town in the american mid-west. If I could I would quote huge segments from each page but I can't.

The character Saul is convinced that the world is losing the ability to think and he stops his high flying career to become a history teacher. He is not satisfied with the current atmosphere of fear and prejudice in the USA and notably criticises the current president. A lot of people make a big deal about this, it doesn't affect me. He is simply living his life, we experience his frustrations, his joys and it carries me away, I feel that I am living their lives in my dreams. The writing uplifts me, it gives me joy.

This is a small passage describing how they met after a dance performance of Patsy and Saul is describing to her how he appreciated the performance:

"He had the piercing brown eyes of a repentant gangster, though he was gaunt in other respects, except for his thick peasant's hands. He was excited by the text ("self-incriminated language," he called it,"oxidising in your ear") and the sounds("lyrical aural insults, with no bottom to them"), but most of all it seemed he was excited by Patsy. "You were moving but you weren't moving," he said, "the words were moving your body," demonstrating that he had got it, that it hadn't slipped past him. "It was psychokinetic," he said, "and phonemic-kinetic," which was going a bit far. They were talking in the hallyway, Patsy holding her knapsack, the hour was getting late and then Saul blurted out, "I kept imagining what it would be like to be partnered with you," and then he blushed under his beard, self-astonished. Patsy smiled. So it would be like this, from now on? The blurting of truth in the wee hours?"

I still haven't finished the book, I am looking forward to the rest of it!


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