Marginal Footnotes


Eureka Street
May 30, 2006, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Literary, Uncategorized

'It is at these times that you feel you are in the presence of something greater than yourself.  And you are.  For as you look around the perimeter of your illuminated vision, you can see the buildings and streets in which a dark hundred thousand, a million, ten million stories as vivid and complex as your own reside.  It doesn't get more divine than that.
   And the sleepy murmurings of half a million people combine to make an influential form of noise, a consensual music.  Hear it and weep.  There is little more to learn on the earth than that which a deserted city at four in the morning can show and tell.  Those nights, those cities are the centre, the fulcrum, the very wheel upon which you turn.
   Sleeping cities and sleeping citizens alike wait upon events, they attend upon narrative. They are stopped in station.  They soon move on, they soon start again.
   And as the darkness begins to curl around its edges, the city shifts and stumbles in its slumber.  Soon it will wake.  In this city, as in all cities, the morning is an assault.  The people wake and dress themselves as though arming themselves for their day.  From all the small windows of all the small houses on the small streets of this little city, men and women have looked out on first-light Belfast and readied themselves to do battle with this place.
   But for now they are still abed.  Like Jake they lie, their stories only temporarily suspended.  They are marvellous in their beds.  They are epic, these citizens, they are tender and murderable.
   In Belfast, in all cities, it is always present tense and all the streets are Poetry Streets'.
[Robert McLiam Wilson. Eureka Street. London: Vintage, 1998. 216-17.]

Do yourself a favor and read this novel.

–mpd

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