Words Unclouded

Beautiful writing, delicious word pictures, shining passages.

2 notes

He had followed literature from the first, but he had taken a lifetime to get abreast of her. Only today at last had he begun to see, so that all he had hitherto shown was a movement without direction. He had ripened too late and was so clumsily constituted that he had had to teach himself by his mistakes.
Henry James, “The Middle Years”

Filed under Henry James mistakes writing literature age short stories

13 notes

No place became real till you got out of the car. Dazed with the heat… I paid attention to a squashed leaf, ground a Popsicle stick under the heel of my sandal, squinted at a trash can strapped to a tree… you feel their singleness and precise location and the forlorn coincidence of your being there to see them.
from “Miles City, Montana” by Alice Munro

Filed under Alice Munro car details driving observation road trips short stories

19 notes

Hiding under the clavichord

Real lightning. Digital ID: 407617. New York Public Library

"When it rained, Marcial hid himself under the clavichord.  Every clap of thunder made the sound box vibrate, and set all the notes to singing.  Shafts of lightning fell from the sky, creating a vault of cascading arpeggios - the organ, the wind in the pines, and the crickets’ mandolin."

- from “Journey Back to the Source” by Alejo Carpentier (translated by Harriet De Onís)

Filed under Alejo Carpentier childhood clavichord lightning music short stories sound thunder Journey Back to the Source

6 notes

She had to watch Ditta not only because instead of seeming plain and drab Ditta was beautiful in the same way that a leaf covered with dew is beautiful, or a hollyhock searching upwards toward the sky, or anything reaching out fully toward life is beautiful… She had to watch Ditta this way because it was the way she learned; this was what taught her to act. One part of her was listening to Ditta and feeling the sharp thrust of Ditta’s pain, and another part of her was excited and very aware and trying to store up the inner quality of everything that Ditta was saying and doing.
from The Joys of Love by Madeleine L’Engle

Filed under Madeleine L'Engle acting art love novels observation openness sadness theater The Joys of Love

3 notes

Excerpt from Madame Curie: A Biography

Madame Curie in her laboratory. Presented to Martha Van Rensselaer upon the occasion of ...

The reality was more entrancing than the simple wish of long ago. Radium had something better than “a beautiful color”: it was spontaneously luminous.  And in the somber shed where, in the absence of cupboards, the precious particles in their tiny glass receivers were placed on tables or on shelves nailed to the walls, their phosphorescent bluish outlines gleamed, suspended in the night.

"Look…  Look!" the young woman murmured.

She went forward cautiously, looked for and found a straw-bottomed chair.  She sat down in the darkness and silence.  Their two faces turned toward the pale glimmering, the mysterious sources of radiation…

- from Madame Curie: A Biography by Eve Curie

Filed under Eve Curie Marie Curie Pierre Curie luminous science radium radiation research researchers biographies

33 notes

No one noticed Barbara, no one lived with her, no one cared. And Barbara’s life was very full, for she was born to receive. Others are born wishing to receive, so they wear bright masks and make attractive sounds like cicadas and operettas, so others will be forced, one way or another, to give to them. But Barbara’s receptors were wide open, and always had been, so that she needed no substitute for sunlight through a tulip petal, or the sound of morning-glories climbing, or the tangy sweet smell of formic acid which is the only death cry possible to an ant…
Theodore Sturgeon, “The Silken-Swift”

Filed under character study love openness receiving short stories the silken-swift theodore sturgeon