await your reply 4: image

From Dan Chaon’s Await Your Reply, how an image can make words come alive:

Without the image:

Her thoughts were not clearly articulated in her mind, but she could feel them moving swiftly, gathering.

“What are you thinking about?” George Orson said, and when he spoke, her thoughts scattered, broke up into fragments of memories.

That’s good, right?

With the image:

Her thoughts were not clearly articulated in her mind, but she could feel them moving swiftly, gathering.

“What are you thinking about?” George Orson said, and when he spoke, her thoughts scattered, broke up into fragments of memories, the way that the birds separated out of their formation and back into individual birds. (219)

A passage we will remember.

PS:

Dan Chaon’s words recall Toni Morrison’s from Beloved, and not wanting to miss an opportunity to share one of my favorite passages of all times, here it is:

She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind. (272-273)

~4th in a series
~cross-posted at Contrary Blog

8 thoughts on “await your reply 4: image

  1. Great quotes. The images make the words seem more real…set in stone. The subtle differences are there when reading the words from a paperback as opposed to an ebook too. Sometimes you need to feel the page turning when you read a meaningful phrase or passage. 🙂

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