Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Man Walks Into a Song

Image Credit: timide_ch of

Yesterday I finished reading Man Walks Into a Room by Nicole Krauss -- a wonderfully pulsing and poetic novel. While a few of the Amazon customer reviewers thought the book had 'wasted potential' and 'strained metaphors', I found it refreshing in that it was beautifully written and insightful, but didn't strand itself in a field of flowery, 2-D words. There's depth here.

ANYway**, some parts of this novel were just so striking that I felt the need to mark them with the teensiest brackets possible [I did check it out from the library, after all] so that I could later soundtrack each passage with a song be-fitting of the mood. And this is precisely what I have done.

I really tried to figure out how to get one of those "Read On" links, but it's hugely confusing. I even wrangled the help of my computer genius brother, to no avail. So, uh... this'll just be mondo long. But fear not! For, aside from the mp3 links, the following is solely made up of passages from the book. Really great passages. Written by a professional author. So it's solid.

Left clicks, kids.

1. "It was the vivid colour of the memory that startled him, a luminous blue. It was all around him, warm and smooth, and moving through it toward the glow of light he could hear the muted sounds that seemed to come from a great, impassable distance. There was a felicity despite the slow pressure on his lungs that finally pushed him upward. He remembered that when his head broke through the surface of the water he'd been surprised by the chill of the air and thee world that stood in perfect, microscopoic clarity: the blades of grass, the night sky, the dripping faces of the two boys illuminated by the pool lights. "Forty-three seconds!" one shouted, looking at his watch, then barreled down the diving board, leaped into the air, and clutched his knees, dropping into the water with a lucid splash." [p. 17]

Under the Water it Glowed by Eluvium

2. "The hairline cracks of a sugar bowl on the kitchen table. The sun falling through the leaves casting shadows on his fingers. His mother's eyelashes." [p. 18]

Hottub by David Wingo & Michael Linnen

3. "Frost forms between the plane's double windows, each geometric crystal an argument for the stillborn beauty of pure math." [p. 79]

Imagination of a Watermelon by The Matinee Orchestra

4. "The first grid is the strangest, the geometry of better living etched onto the desert floor: identical houses of a planned community pleated around the nucleus of a swimming pool. One and then another, until the desert is paved under streets and scattered with countless pools like a deck of blue cards." [p. 79]

Future Perfect by Autolux

5. "It was beautiful, the ambition of it, the freehand interpretation of a city. From such a height, the knowledge of the small, simultaneous, faraway was comforting: people dialing the operator, swallowing pills, breaking off romances, signing their names. Twelve million people inhabiting one of the most volatile places on earth, naturally disastrous, prone to flood and fire. Sharing wavelengths." [p. 83]

Mirror by Michael Andrews

6. "Maybe they had taken drives out of the city, crossing delicate bridges whose steel fibres hummed and swayed imperceptibly in the wind. They traveled north into the country where they imagined a future, passing through small towns with steeples and weather vanes. Anna would take off her shoes and draw her feet up under her. December, a faint snow of the ground, they would come to a crossroads and the dying yellow light would glow under the sky's dark hem. She would be silent, her head tipped against the glass. Then suddenly she would look up,her mouth open, her face changed by an expression he'd never seen before and that made her seem unrecognizable." [p. 207]

I Think I'll Be a Good Ghost by Say Hi to Your Mom

7. "He began to notice the small details she was made up of: the way she made a small popping noise with her lips when she was about to say something difficult, or played with the ends of her hair when she was watching TV, or drank her coffee with the spoon still in the mug, and so on. Eventually he found he could only see her as a collection of such fragments." [p. 219 - 220]

I've Got You and You've Got Me [Broken Social Scene remix] by New Buffalo

8. "'I mean, how many someone elses can one claim to be in a lifetime? It's not very long a life, is it, Max? You're a kid, it's summer, you blink your eyes and years--years--have passed. And you realize that you've become someone else, but that your heart is still caught in that lost kid. That what you're left with beating in your chest is a diminished thing, a shadow of what it was when you were a boy and running under the night sky you felt it was filled to bursting.'" [p. 227]

Stay, Son by A Classic Education

9. "Samson's cheek was pressed against the grass as if he had fallen from the sky. The idea of ever getting up again seemed absurd. The flashlight lying at his side was still on, a dim ray of accidental light grazing Max's bare foot. It was like a little devotional scene, a tragedy happened and passed and the quiet setting in now, lit up by the flashlight used to rescue." [p. 237]

Stay Golden by Au Revoir Simone

10. "He closed his eyes. Sounds that had only been at the furthest margin of his consciousness, the pinpricks of each moving leaf and the ocean rush of a distant car, made a point of themselves, each a tiny argument against nothingness." [p. 227]

Sons of Light and Darkness by Helios

Thanks for stopping by,

** I stole ANYway from Chuck Klosterman. I stoled it real good.

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