Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What I've Been Reading: Light Years by James Salter

Stunning. I don't recall the last time I underlined so many sentences in a book. It's a book filled with beautiful moments and heard-earned observations. The kind of book that made me want to be a writer.

'She has a wide mouth, the mouth of an actress, thrilling, bright. Dark smudges in her armpits, mint on her breath. Her nature is extravagant.'

'The city is a cathedral of possessions; its scent is dreams. Even those who have been rejected by it cannot leave.'

'He had never been so exhilarated after love. All the simple things had found their voice. It was as if he were backstage during a great overture, alone, in semi-darkness but able to hear it all.'

'Children are our crops, our fields, our earth. They are birds let loose into darkness.'

'The only words I'm afraid of are 'Ordinary life,'' Nedra said.

'Wine, stories, friends. He was a man lying fully clothed in the stream of days.'

'One of the last great realizations is that life will not be what you dreamed.'


Anonymous said...

His "A Sport and Pastime" was assigned in grad school for a lesson in how to write about sex – swapsies? Agree: he is what makes me want to return to the word by word art of writing.

JD. said...

EMcD - I should give you some sort of award for your comments here. You're surely the only candidate.

'Light Year's is broader in scope than 'A Sport...' though the latter truly is a complete instruction manual on writing about sex...