The Bright Side Of The Death Of The Heart
I try my best to be fair about the books I’m reading. After all, if I’m reading through all 101 of these novels, I want to do everything I can to enjoy them. Otherwise, it would just be a waste of time.
I started off my experience with The Death of the Heart by sharing the novel’s opening with you guys. The large majority of responses, including my initial impression, were negative.
But, hey, that’s just one paragraph of a 450 page novel, albeit an important one.
Anyway, what else is in store for you in the first 150 pages of The Death of the Heart? I pulled together from of my favorite passages to counterbalance all the negativity toward that opening paragraph.
Here are a few:
“A romantic man often feels more uplifted with two women than with one: his love seems to hit the ideal mark somewhere between two different faces.”
“She walked about with the rather fated expression you see in photographs of girls who have subsequently been murdered, but nothing had so far happened to her.”
And this much longer passage that I read yesterday. It’s really good.
“Innocence so constantly finds itself in a false position that inwardly innocent people learn to be disingenuous. Finding no language in which to speak in their own terms, they resign themselves to being translated imperfectly. They exist alone; when they try to enter into relations they compromise falsifyingly—through anxiety, through desire to impart and to feel warmth. The system of our affections is too corrupt for them. They are bound to blunder, then to be told they cheat. In love, the sweetness and violence they have to offer involves a thousand betrayals for the less innocent. Incurable strangers to the world, they never cease to exact a heroic happiness. Their singleness, their ruthlessness, their one continuous wish makes them bound to be cruel, and to suffer cruelty. The innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet—when they do meet, their victims lie strewn all around.”
So, at least for me, things get better after that opening paragraph. The story is a little slow, but I remain interested almost halfway through the book.
If you got turned off by The Death of the Heart because of that opener, you might want to give it another chance. I’ll keep you posted.