How’s That for an Opener?

Thus begins the second chapter of the short novel The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon, who is clearly a student of Orwell. It’s a different setting and point-of-view from the first chapter, so it’s a cold start. All we know is this is probably post-war England.

There were so many queer aspects to Sunday dinner at the Panicker table that Mr. Shane, the new arrival, aroused the suspicions of his fellow lodger Mr. Parkins merely by seeming to take no notice of any of them. He strode into the dining room, a grand, rubicund fellow who set the floorboards to creaking mightily when he trod them and who looked as if he keenly felt the lack of a pony between his legs. He wore his penny-red hair cropped close to the scalp and there was something indefinitely colonial, a nasal echo of cantonment or goldfields, in his speech. He nodded in turn to Parkins, to the refugee child, and to Reggie Panicker, and then flung himself into his chair like a boy settling onto the back of a school chum for a ride across the lawn. Immediately he struck up a conversation with the elder Panicker on the subject of American roses, a subject about which, he freely admitted, he knew nothing.

From The Final Solution, by Michael Chabon (published 2004).

Published in: on October 13, 2016 at 8:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hemingway, fictionalized by himself

David Bourne, Hemingway’s avatar in The Garden of Eden:

He started to write and he forgot about Catherine and what he saw from the window and the writing went by itself as it did with him when he was lucky. He wrote it exactly and the sinister part only showed as the light feathering of a smooth swell on a calm day marking the reef beneath.

From The Garden of Eden, by Ernest Hemingway, published posthumously in 1986.

Published in: on June 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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