Friday, October 31, 2014

New Lows, New Owls

"However, this was the family's last day of happiness." Not a surprising sentence from Zola! But he lays it on you when there are more than a hundred more pages to go, his personal guarantee that nothing else happy will occur. A perverse way to try to keep the reader going. By now the laundress lives on the other side of a thin wall from a drunken undertaker... of course! She hears everything he does through the wall: "the black leather hat giving a dull sound as it hit the chest of drawers, like a shovelful of earth; the black coat, hung up and brushing against the wall with the noise of a night-bird's wings..." I'm afraid that's as close as we're going to get to owls in this book. Speaking of which, I bought a pen with an owl on it. That's a new low. But I noticed it (the owl) was painted by Alexander Wilson. Who cares? It's probably a piece of junk. That may be the Zola talking.