Wednesday, May 16, 2007

wonderful zadie smith story in the recent new yorker

i've often overlooked the fiction in the new yorker, but recently i've been reading the short stories. in the may 14th new yorker (which is generally excellent, cover to cover, with articles on banksy, walt mossberg and richard bransen that are particularly interesting) zadie smith has a wonderful story titled "Hanwell Senior." here's a quote from the story
His feet stank. He took off his shoes. At home he had a wife who was not well, not well in a manner he could do nothing about nor understand, but as he sat here now in the sun, the tense, resistant nub of flesh inside his back resolved itself for the first time in months. He lay down. His spine pressed into the soil a notch at a time, undid him. Upside down was a land of female legs. He was fond of these new bell-shaped skirts, wide enough to crawl under and be kept safe, and wished he had waited to marry, or married differently. He thought, What if I stayed here? Let the sun swallow me, and the orange dazzle under my eyelids become not just the thing I see but the thing that I am, and let the one daisy with the bent stem, and the rose smell and the girl upside down on the pub bench eating an upside-down ploughman’s with her upside-down friend be the whole of the law and the girth of the world. Wasn’t it the work of moments, of a little paint, to change “HANWELL’S FINEST” to “HANWELL AND HANWELL”? [omar's bolding]
i found that bold part particularly moving. words can be so powerful (i was thinking about doing photography recently and this reminded me of the power of words... i should push on my words)


neha said...

start writing!!!

omar said...

i wrote the blog entry! :)

bea said...

have you read any of her other stuff? I read white teeth, the autograph man, and on beauty, and I really really liked White teeth....her prose is INSANE.