Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Master

The gondola swayed so gently that Henry was not aware of moving in any direction, merely staying still. As her underclothes sank, he imagined that the consignment lay directly beneath them, falling slowly to the ocean bed.

It was only when Tito reached to lift the pole that both of them at the same time caught sight of a black shape in the water less than ten yards away and Tito cried out.

In the gathering dusk it appeared as though a seal or some dark, rounded object from the deep had appeared on the surface of the water. Tito took the pole in both hands as if to defend himself. And then Henry saw what it was. Some of the dresses had floated to the surface again like black balloons, evidence of the strange sea burial they had just enacted, their arms and bellies bloated with water. As they turned the boat, Henry noticed that a grayness had set in over Venice. Soon a mist would settle over the lagoon. Tito had already moved the gondola towards the buoyant material; Henry watched as he worked at it with the pole, pushing the ballooning dress under the surface and holding it there and then moving his attention to another dress which had partially resurfaced, pushing that under again, working with ferocious strength and determination. He did not cease pushing, prodding, sinking each dress and then moving to another. Finally he scanned the water to make certain that no more had reappeared, but all of them seemed to have remained under the surface of the dark water.

-The Master (2004), Colm Tóibín

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1 Comments:

Blogger Toast said...

Really? Prose of the day? "Some of the dresses had floated to the surface again like black balloons, evidence of the strange sea burial they had just enacted, their arms and bellies bloated with water." Pronoun-antecedent confusion much?

August 29, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

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