Saturday, February 20, 2021

the last book I ever read (Native Son by Richard Wright, excerpt six)

from Native Son by Richard Wright:

He turned restlessly on his hard pallet and groaned. He had been caught up in a whirl of thought and feeling which had swept him onward and when he opened his eyes he saw that daylight stood outside of a dirty window just above his head. He jumped up and looked out. The snow had stopped falling and the city, white, still, was a vast stretch of roof-tops and sky. He had been thinking about it for hours here in the dark and now there it was, all white, still. But what he had thought about it had made it real with a reality it did not have now in the daylight. When lying in the dark thinking of it, it seemed to have something which left it when it was looked at. Why should not this cold white world rise up as a beautiful dream in which he could walk and be at home, in which it would be easy to tell what to do and what not to do? If only someone had gone before and lived or suffered or died—made it so that it could be understood! It was too stark, not redeemed, not made real with the reality that was the warm blood of life. He felt that there was something missing, some road which, if he had once found it, would have led him to a sure and quiet knowledge. But why think of that now? A chance for that was gone forever. He had committed murder twice and had created a new world for himself.

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