Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dancing home

The papers are full of an ex-
citement one can well imagine,
that Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn is
now playing on the screen. He
requires no introduction, but
if he did, I think it could 
be reduced to the sentence he
assigns to his heroine, mid-
way through the novel at page
137, after she had become at
ease with a partner with whom
she would meet for dancing on
Fridays, and movies another
night each week. Or here, at
least, is the overture his
readers hear, to the dimming
of the cineplex, for him - 

   She thought it was
   strange that the mere
   sensation of savouring
   the prospect of some-
   thing could make her
   think for a while that
   it must be the prospect
   of home.

In the previous thirty pages
he has allowed this improbable
equation to imply itself, per-
sistently, with the subtlest 
application, allowing his prose
the patient assurance of an al-
most perfect dancing partner.
In the pleasantly lengthening
shelf of his books which we all,
probably, share repeatedly with
friends, we find this faculty
unfolding constantly. Simply to
gather in straight lines of text 
the multifaceted nuances of a 
partnering's becoming home, is
a choreography rare enough to
see if cinema can pull it off.

Of course there is excitement.

Colm Tóibín
  A Novel
Scribner, 2009©

No comments:

Post a Comment