Sunday, April 19, 2009

She considered that she had created this man out of whole cloth, had thought him up, and she was sure that she could do a better job if she had it to do again. Only once or twice in her life had she ever understood all of him, but the part of him which she knew, she knew intricately and well. No little appetite or pain, no carelessness or meanness in him escaped her; no thought or dream or longing in him ever reached her. And yet several times in her life she had seen the stars.

From The Moon is Down, by John Steinbeck


I love this passage, and this book in fact was overall quite good despite something of a letdown in the ending. It was written about the German occupation of Norway in WWII, and the book was finished well before the war was over so Steinbeck was uninformed about how things would eventually shake out. This no doubt contributed to the ending's cryptic morality statement. Nevertheless, the characterization was magnificent. That last line is the sort of thing I wish I could come up with for my books. It could mean a hundred different things, or it could mean nothing at all. I love it.

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