Monday, 15 October 2012

Others Say it Best

Cathy and Heathcliffe

This one's for you, Sextant.   There are a very few authors I can relate to and whose writing I find, is exquisite in every way, Ian McKewan is one of them. Consider this extract from 'Saturday'....p. 39
“Henry lies still, waiting for sleep. By contemporary standards, it’s perverse that he’s never tired of making love to Rosalind, never been seriously tempted by the opportunities that have drifted his way through the generous logic of medical hierarchy. When he thinks of sex, he thinks of her. These eyes, these breasts, this tongue, this welcome. Who else could love him so knowingly, with such warmth and teasing humour, or accumulate so rich a past with him? In one lifetime it wouldn’t be possible to find another woman with whom he can learn to be so free, whom he can please with such abandon and expertise. By some accident of character, it’s familiarity that excites him more than sexual novelty. He suspects there’s something numbed or deficient or timid in himself. Plenty of male friends sidle into adventures with younger women; now and then a solid marriage explodes in a fire fight of recrimination.  Perowne watches on with unease, fearing he lacks an element of the masculine life force, and a bold and healthy appetite for experience. Where’s his curiosity? What’s wrong with him? But there’s nothing he can do about himself. He meets the occasional questioning glance of an attractive woman with a bland and level smile. This fidelity might look like virtue or doggedness, but it’s neither of these because he exercises no real choice. This is what he has to have; possession, belonging, repetition. “
Other life-long favorites are:  Sebastian Faulks, C.P Snow and Barbara Kingsolver. I wish I could write like them. I do hope Ian McKewan doesn't mind me quoting from one of his marvelous books. ....Just having a quiet afternoon, thinking about stuff.


  1. I suspect that there are two ways to experience sex: variety through lust, or depth through love. We all have our time where we tend to sex like butterflies to the blossoms in a garden. But then hopefully one finds the one and the only, and when one does, one then replaces variety with depth and with depth comes variety--the variety of ever growing deeper in love driving physical love to new heights.

    How many people waste their lives with meaningless hookups often conducted in a state of inebriation? And think about it, they probably follow a safe standard script. Do this, this, this and this ... done. They are doing the same things over and over with different bodies.

    Monogamy has its benefits, you only have to practice birth control, not safe sex. You know each other desires and wants and can explore for more...more variety of experience with a person that you are deeply in love with rather than yet another stranger who you really don't care for all that much in the morning now that you are sober. You have a shared history, you have children together, it is not just simply a roll in the hay, it is a Sacrament that celebrates your lives, your love, your union, the creation of your children, the deep mystery that is woman and man, and the mystical union of Souls. It is Sacred.

    Nice passage and very true! Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thought you'd like it. In fact, you could have written it - witness your beautiful and wise comment.

    2. Let us know how you like that book. I have never read anything by McKewan. I am intrigued by the number of negative reviews on his books. Call me crazy but sometimes negative reviews have more impact on me buying a book than positive. I find I like deep character studies rather than a edge of your seat thriller...thrillers beat the hell out of my body because I can't put them down and I don't like that.

      Thanks for your kind comment.

    3. Try 'Saturday'. I recommend it.