09-23-2010 01:15 AM
ON page 219--- Karel is still alone with this girl, he can'i help but think this is not the same stable, not the same town, not the same world in which he'd found himself just a dozen short minutes before.
I like this because it was the only romantic sentence in the book and it is very descriptive of how lovers feel when they are first with each other--it has a little of Maria and Tony from West Side Story// Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific feel.
09-23-2010 01:17 AM
p290 IIf there was a Holy Ghost, then oughtn't there be an Unholy one?
made me laugh!!!!! And a question I am sure that is basically --if there is good why is there evil?
09-23-2010 03:12 AM
Some of the more humorous sayings:
Henry Kaspar to Karel, putting to put out the fire: "You want to lend a hand, you're more than welcome to go piss on the embers, see if that does the trick. Maybe resurrect all them horses while you're at it."
Karel carrying Joe's body: "The broken leg swung down with a sick grinding of bone and the boy's boot heel spurred sharply against the side of Karel's knee. You little sh*t. All of a sudden you got to have the last goddamn word, do you? Joe's blue llips were upturned faintly at the corners. Not a smile so much as the promise of one. 'Go on ahead, but youstart laughing and you can walk your own dead ass to the truck, you hear me?'"
Conversatioin between Father Carew and Karel: "You ought to get yourself a telephone, Karel. A telephone? They making them now so you can call a dead man and ask his name?"
On a more serious note, the tenderness he felt to his new son: "He reached down and flattened a hand on the boy's chest, felt the faint, fluttering rise and fall of his breathing, and then, before he turned to the awaiting labor of a day not yet fully made, he traced a finger over the little furrows creased into the tender skin of the boy's fine neck."
09-26-2010 11:33 AM
Page 5- "The townsfolk would assume, from this day forward, that Klara's death had turned a gentle man bitter and hard, but the truth, Vaclav knew, was that her absence only rendered him, again, the man he'd been before he'd met her, one only her proximity had ever softened."
I totally agree w/you that this passage definitely sets the stage for the whole story. it is hard for me to think of him as a gentle man b/c of the way he treated his sons. I just never so him showing them any love or affection.
Page 17- "What they didn't know, though they might have suspected as much, was that Vaclav had taken in those days to praying shamelessly of a Sunday that pestilence might visit the Dalton herd, & that Dalton had once that summer crept in the moonlight among the outermost rows of Skala's melon crop, injecting the ripe fruit with horse laxative."
Love those passages...the one on page 5 is my most favorite because it really does set the stage of what is to come...
And passage from p.5 is the passage that troubles me most, largely because it seems to make it so difficult to have empathy for Vaclav. Certainly he deserves accountability for the cruel things he did and, whatever his past might have been, in a twist on his own words (on blame), one is always responsible for one's own actions, often even when done under duress or for the best or worst of reasons. Still, even as the story closed, I wanted at least a bit more of Vaclav's back story, some evidence as to whether he or the townsfolk were more accurate in their perception of whom he had been. It had to be tough to raise four small boys, apparently largely alone, under the conditions he faced. They did still seemly grow into decent, albeit flawed, men. But, he didn't need to maim them, he didn't need to value race horses more than draft horses when he was land-rich farmer, he didn't need to be so brutal in either discipline or racing tactics, ....
Maybe that self-perception was at the center of his tragic flaws -- that he saw himself as hard.... ?
what an amazing insight...wonderful thoughts...
09-26-2010 11:35 AM
...She shivers beneath her wet riding coat, and now Karel feels the cold so suddenly that he thinks for a moment that, but for distracted riding and misfortune, it could be this way with her, that he could spend the rest of his life noticing his surroundings only as they pertain to her.
I LOVE THAT PASSAGE TOO...it is beautiful....
09-26-2010 01:28 PM
This passage is when Sophie and her family are at church and she begans labor. It describes the pain of labor and the exposure and the risks of motherhood.
page 51- It had begun, she knew that, but she couldn't know that it would progress in the way that it would, that the baby would be rendered from her in a fashion as protracted and inexorable as the way stones are tumbled, turned smooth by years of rushing water, and the men are eroded of kindness by the slow, interminable friction of their unrealized desires.
09-26-2010 07:15 PM
On page 157....Karel took his hat from his head and tossed it onto the chair where he'd spent the night sleeping upright, then he held his hands out to old woman Vrana, who raised her wiry brows at him and set the child hesitantly in his father's arms. "
And further down the page.... "Karel didn't marvel at the fact that he was doing for his boy, in this, the first full day of his life, what his father never once done for him."
This was very moving to me. His son was going to know his father's love and suffer the same abuse his father had!!
09-27-2010 08:25 AM
Sophie worked a finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth to unlatch him, and then she turned him to the other breast, his tiny arms thrown up as if he’d found himself unmoored and falling from the night’s only comfort when she did. “What I want, Karel, is for you to think about him if you have to.”
“I have been,” Karel said, “I am.”
“That’s not what I’m saying. What I mean is, I want you to try thinking about him when thinking about me isn’t enough.” (page 299)
09-29-2010 12:43 AM
I loved the entire section of the horse race between Karel and Graciela. Very well worded. I could envision the whole thing and was riveted to the end and beyond.
I definitely agree! The whole description of the race was one of my favorite sections of the book because it was just so vivid and really came to life for me. The writing was wonderfully and the description allowed me to imagine the entire scene in my head.
10-06-2010 11:44 AM
One of the saddest and most telling passages included these words: "Karel has never thought of his love for the horse, has never thought of what he felt for the animal as love, and even now he isn't sure that's the word he would choose. But it is certainly something akin to affection, something as fluttering and warm as the fine quivering of the horse's musculature now at work beneath its damp hide."
Later on the page he is remembering pain in his life and again thinking of his mother: "He considers the ocuntless times he's imagined his mother, the length of her hair, the crinkling pleatwork of her skirts, the soft blue consolation of her eyes. He'd never seen any of it, but now he can't check himself, can't help but think that he might very well have heard her voice, that he might have known the sound of her even from within her body, that she might have sung to her unborn while she went about her chores or cried out in those final moments of her labor pains, and that, though he can't recall it or reproduce it, he's been carrying it around inside of him, the memory of it, an actual memory of her, a real memory, for the whole of his life."
This passage made me think of how Karel didn't know love, didn't know how to recognize it in any form. It was telling in that he knew his father was laying out there hurt but he stopped with Whisky first, giving the horse a little comfort and grieving for it, and thinking before he went to look for his father.
10-17-2010 11:19 AM
It would be really cool to have favorite passages linked on NOOK...blogging about texts while reading, immediate ability to share comments/passages.....