Passages of writing: The Aunt’s Story, Patrick White

Book: The Aunt’s Story, Patrick White p4 Vintage 2008 edition (first pub 1948)

Why: LOVE this for the ‘sound’ of it: the rhyming of groped and coppery, of snoozed and smooth, and the repetition of sounds: the ‘ch’ of church, touched and cheek and again in groped and coppery – the ‘op’.

Also love the little journey: we start way over the bay in the church, lazily though the leaves of the Moreton Bay Fig and we get to touch someone’s cheek and we do it in such a way as to get their blood flowing. A journey both in distance and in action, starts out slow at the church and gets exciting on the cheek.

And also love the positioning of where we are:  across the bay from the church (where the funeral is to be held presumably) right there with Theodora.

All this in forty-one words – too good.

Could you get away with this today? Would a published slap you with a wet fish for being so corny? Hope not. Love it. I could read it all day.

From the church across the bay a sound of bells groped through a coppery afternoon, snoozed in the smooth leaves of the Moreton Bay fig, and touched the cheek. The blood began to flow. I am free now, said Theodora Goodman.

The Aunt’s Story, Patrick White.


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