Wednesday September 2nd, 2009

A Selection

From The Master by Colm Tóibín:

Minny died in March, a year since he had last seen her. He was still in England. He felt it as the end of his youth, knowing that death, at the last, was dreadful to her. She would have given anything to live. In the years that followed, he longed to know what she would have thought of his books and stories, and of the decisions he made about his life. This sense of missing her deep and demanding response made itself felt to Gray and Holmes as well, and also to William. All of them wondered in their nervous ambition and great, agitated egotism what Minny would have thought about them or said about them. Henry wondered, too, what life would have had for her and how her exquisite faculty of challenge could have dealt with a world which would inevitably attempt to confine her. His consolation was that at least he had known her as the world had not, and the pain of living without her was no more than a penalty he paid for the privilege of having been young with her. What once was life, he thought, is always life and he knew that her image would preside in his intellect as a sort of measure and standard of brightness and repose.