Thursday, December 28, 2006

Falconer


The other day I started to read 'Falconer' by John Cheever. I hope I can finish it, I think I might have reached my limit with Patrick Hamilton, after a point stark loneliness becomes predictable and the sorrow becomes a bit too recognisable. Not to say I don't enjoy it because I do and I think it is wonderful.

I tried to get a picture that would summarise this passage, that might be able to cathc the innocent quality of the blue sky he refers to. I think that is quite difficult but this picture looked good anyway. 'Falconer' is about a guy called Farragut who ends up in prison for murder and this passage is about when he enters the prison and sees the blue sky and is amazed by its innocent quality:

"Then he saw the blue sky and nailed his identity to it and to the phrasing of four letters he would write to his wife, his lawyer, his governor and his bishop. A handful of people watched them quickstep across the yard. Then he distinctly heard a voice say ,’But they look so nice!’ That would have been some innocent, some stray, and Farragut heard a man in uniform say, ‘Turn your back and any one of them would put a shiv in it.’ But the stray was right. The blue in the space between the van and the prison was the first spread of blue some of them had seen in months. How extraordinary it was and how truly pure they seemed!They would never again look so well. The light of the sky, shining into their condemned faces, showed a great richness of purpose and innocence. ‘They murder,’ said the guard,’they rape, they stuff babies into furnaces, they’d strangle their own mother for a stick of chewing gum.’ Then he turned from the stray to the convicts and began to call: ‘You’re going to be good boys, you’re gonn be good boys, you’re gonna be good, good boys …’ He spread out his call like a train whistle, a hounds belling, some late-night lonely song or cry.”

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