Friday, May 22, 2015
Notes for a commonplace book (14)
"There was a shell on the sideboard, a conch shell in the shape of a horn, which, when held to the ear, repeated the surge and collapse of breakers, infinitely faint, as if heard across the great width of America which separates Wisconsin from the sea. It seemed to the boy that in the same way every object in those rooms echoed the forces which had once been at play around it, very faintly, from a distance of years instead of miles. The pleated fabrics and sheets of old paper enfolded little, agitated ghosts; and the odor of unfamiliar clothes, beds, and pillows, the residue of spiritless perfumes and bouquets long since thrown away, suggested energies now exhausted and passions now forgotten: the energy which had chosen this farm in the wilderness, cut down the trees, uprooted the stumps, built and demolished the log cabins, and founded this home; the long series of passions which had in the end produced himself."
The Grandmothers (1927)