Monday, March 24, 2014

the last book I ever read (Gore Vidal's Burr, excerpt one)

from Burr: A Novel by Gore Vidal:

I am not used to night travel. To be cooped up in a carriage in the dark is to be totally subtracted from the usual world. Non-existent yet perversely made aware of not existing by the clatter of hooves, jingle of harness, coachman’s curses and—on this night—by a hideous white half-moon that had drained the world of colour, caused trees and fields to hemorrhage their green, turn to black, white, silver all nature. For a time, I thought I was dead.

Certainly the two old men opposite me did not dispel the mood. Burr: “Wasn’t that the Wentworth place, the farmhouse there, with the three chimneys?” Dr. Bogart: “No, Colonel. It was the Dutchman’s place. You know his name. With the bald wife who drowned at Fishkill in seventy-two or seventy-three.”

Will I be like them at their age? Talking of grisly deathbeds and redundant gallantries? But then I am to have a short life, according to the Italian fortune teller at Castle Garden. No garrulous old age for me. Good.

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