Sunday, January 11, 2009

Occasional Literary Gem #2

I'm enjoying 'The Prince Of Tides' immensely. As I remarked earlier, what strikes me the most about Pat Conroy's writing is the beautiful way he puts words together. It's a difficult thing to achieve once or twice in a novel, but he seems to do it incredibly regularly. I have been impressed by this regularity several times already, and I haven't read the first 100 pages yet.

Here is gem #2:

"In mental hospitals, no matter how humanistic or enlightened, keys are the manifest credentials of power, the steel asterisks of freedom and mobility. The march of orderlies and nurses is accompanied by the alienating cacophony of singing keys striking against thighs, annotating the passage of the free. When you find yourself listening to their keys and owning none, you will come close to understanding the white terror of the soul that comes with being banished from all commerce with mankind."

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