Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever


What a stunning book! The chapters about Moses and Melissa and Justina near the end -- when Melissa is sort of shut up in the grim castle her rich loveless Aunt Justina owns, and Moses has to sneak out the window and across the roof at night to make love to her, before they marry -- the chapters come out of nowhere like a mock-Gothic.

He had not fallen in love with her because of her gift with arithmetic, because of her cleanliness, her reasonable mind or any other human excellence. It was because he perceived in her some extraordinary inner comeliness or grace that satisfied his needs.

Fear tastes like a rusty knife and do not let her into your house. Courage tastes of blood. Stand up straight. Admire the world. Relish the love of a gentle woman. Trust in the Lord.

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