“And as the ax…”

“And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it.”
-Paul Harding, “Tinkers”

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“Sitting shocked…”

“Sitting shocked on the grass nearby, he stared at his hands ‘with unbelieving terror… The skin hung from them like long icicles. The fingers were curled and pointed, like the claws of a great wild bird–distorted, pointed at the ends like talons, ghostly thin. What would I do now? What use would be these paralyzed talons to me for the rest of my life?'”
– Max Hastings, “Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945”

Georges Simenon: Criminally Underappreciated

Georges Simenon: Criminally Underappreciated

Here’s something I wrote a while back about Georges Simenon. Every time I crack open Monsieur Monde Vanishes or The Widow, I’m reminded again what an amazing writer he is. He has that beautiful, spare quality of Hemingway but taken in the darker, gothic direction I prefer. His dialogue is snap-tight, and while the prose can occasionally steer into flat territory, he nails a sentence every few pages that reminds me why I read in the first place.

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