I haven’t posted for a few days, because I am lost in Checkmate, the sixth and final book in the chronicles. I got off the tram today just as I finished reading a hugely dramatic scene, and walked all the way down the wrong street in 40-degree sun.
So I thought I’d just share two of my favourite pieces of writing from this book:
Nostradamus giving romantic advice to Philippa: “Here you have a hawk of the lure, not of the fist. He will not come to you. If you would have him, you must lay your heart upon your hawking-glove; and feed it to him.”
Aside from just being a very evocative statement, this makes me smile, because it’s so typical of the books. Love and passion, but love that risks everything and is inextricably bound to death.
A lie is a broad and spacious and glittering thing, sweeping belief before it from its very grandeur. But the truth fits, like an old man cutting cloth in an attic.
I love this image. An old man cutting cloth in an attic doesn’t have anything to do with telling the truth, but it feels absolutely right, and describes a feeling I immediately understand.
It reminds me a little of the image at the end of Banville’s The Sea, of the waves moving along the beach like the ripple of material falling from a seamstress’s machine. (I am baldly paraphrasing, by the way. I’m sure Banville would disapprove from the literary heights.)