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“...the quicksand that stirred your footprint and kissed your heel...”

From "Moon Lake", by Eudora Welty:

Luminous of course but hidden from them, Moon Lake streamed out in the night. By moonlight sometimes it seemed to run like a river. Beyond the cry of the frogs there were the sounds of a boat moored somewhere, of its vague, clumsy reaching at the shore, those sounds that are recognized as being made by something sightless. When did the boats have eyes - once? Nothing watched that their little part of the lake stayed roped off and protected; was it there now, the rope stretched frail-like between posts that swayed in mud? That rope was to mark how far the girls could swim. Beyond lay the deep part, some bottomless parts, said Moody. Here and there was the quicksand that stirred your footprint and kissed your heel. All snakes, harmless and harmful, were freely playing now; they put a trailing, moony division between weed and weed - bright, turning, bright and turning.

There are plenty of long, luxurious passages like this in The Golden Apples (1949), in contrast to the more succinct narration of the stories in A Curtain of Green (1941), her debut. Due to a weird inconvenience of the interlibrary loan system*, I'm currently reading both books - or, more accurately, I've set aside the former (which I own) to read as much of the latter as I can before I have to return it to the library. I'm noticing significant differences in style between the two books, although they appeared only eight years apart.

(*Really, Bellwood Public Library? I can only have the book for ten days, with no renewals? Why? Do you really have that much patron demand for Eudora Welty story collections?)

June 20, 2018 in Books | Permalink