Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Expression itself held down and stilled

They walked along the line of machinery until they were discovered by a workman who was emerging from one of the long passages inside. He said nothing as he approached. But in his expressionless face and jewel-like eyes he was expression itself held down and stilled. Peter Lake had heard Beverly say that the greater the stillness, the farther you could travel, until, in absolute immobility, you achieved absolute speed. If you could hold your breath, batten yourself down, and stop every atom from its agitation within you, she had said, you could vault past infinity. All this was beyond his comprehension.

— from Winter's Tale, by Mark Helprin.


Cipriano said...

It baffles my comprehension also, and yet it seems to have the ring of something true in it, in a weird way. I would be as stumped as Peter Lake.
I know that I myself feel the most affinity with infinity when I am still as possible.
[By the way, I love the COVER of that book!]
I've never read Mark Helprin. Would you recommend his stuff as time well spent? The quote is quite interesting, this and the other one, too.

Isabella Kratynski said...

It totally feels true!

I would highly recommend the first third of this book (as that's as far as I am) as time very well spent. I fear this book may yet jump the shark with some hokey new-age-y cosmology (I'll let you know if it does), but so far it's just kind of awesome in sweeping me away with adventure! romance! language! This book is about 600 pages, but I don't feel the weight of such bigness at all. I have no clue what else Helprin may have written, but I will likely look more of his stuff up.