‘Kate Is There in the Shadows’

Here is narrative from a 1960 American novel. A character ascends a staircase to the mezzanine of a house to join another person there:

There comes to me in the ascent a brief annunciatory syllable in the throat stopped in the scrape of a chair as if, having signaled me and repented of it, it had then to pass itself off as but one of the small day noises of the house. Off the landing is a dark little mezzanine arranged as a room of furniture. It is a place one passes twenty times a day and no more thinks of entering than of entering a picture, nor even looking at, but having entered, enters with all the oddness of entering a picture, a tableau in depth wherein space [is] untenanted and wherefrom the view of the house, the hall and dining room below, seems at once privileged and strange. Kate is there in the shadows.
(“The Moviegoer,” Walker Percy)

The passage has a limbic resonance: allusive, sly, eccentric, cryptic, contortive, shaded. It unfamiliarizes the prosaic, imbues it with the surprise of something painted at a swoopish angle, out of kilter; privileged and strange, indeed, whatever that quite means.

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Quotations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ‘Kate Is There in the Shadows’

  1. Your comment sounds like a description of your art work

    Liked by 2 people

    • JMN says:

      Thanks for that observation! I was indeed thinking of how I try to paint faces from eccentric angles. I would certainly LIKE for my efforts at painting to have something of the flavor of Percy’s prose.

      Liked by 2 people

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