Friday, March 14, 2008

A few minutes later, they became engaged

The morning after as they sat at breakfast, he told her his name. It was Marmaduke Bonthrop Shelmerdine, Esquire.

"I knew it!" she said, for there was something romantic and chivalrous, passionate, melancholy, yet determined about him which went with the wild, dark-plumed name -- a name which had in her mind the steel blue gleam of rooks' wings, the hoarse laughter of their caws, the snake-like twisting descent of their feathers in a silver pool, and a thousand other things besides, which will be described shortly.

"Mine is Orlando," she said. He had guessed it. For if you see a ship in full sail coming with the sun on it proudly sweeping across the Mediterranean from the South Seas, one says at once, "Orlando," he explained.

2 comments:

JC said...

Besides the lists everybody has -- best book I've ever read, book I'd least be able to do without, great book I'll never finish -- writers keep another list, of books they would most like to have written. Orlando's one of mine.

t-ruth said...

I can see it.

But if you had written it, wouldn't it have wound up being L,B?

L,B was like it, I thought, in various ways, but especially so in a way that I don't have a name for, but that has to do with the way in which certain lines, phrases and scenes trace exactly how things are -- i.e., are totally, utterly true, albeit in an enchanted register, given by the make-believe trappings. So that upon reading it one is ... what? delighted? smitten? taken? Something like that. I will post more passages.

Orlando doesn't really have longing in it, though, I don't think. Notwithstanding a fair amount of flouncing around and pronouncements thereof by our hero/ine. I'm kind of a sucker for longing.