Monday, September 7, 2009

In which she finally sees why people kept telling her to read Salley Vickers

She was wondering whether it would be nosy to ask Miss Foot why she was on the ship when her companion said, 'I am travelling to New York to visit my sister. We've not met for fifty years. She has cancer and would like to see me again. I shall try to help her but I fear she is resistant to help. That is the true sin against the Holy Ghost -- the refusal of grace and mercy.'

'Yes,' said Vi. 'I think you might be right about that.'

'She is intense,' Miss Foot went on. 'But intensity is not an index of spiritual depth.'

'Certainly not.'

'I would not be surprised, though naturally I shall not say this, if it were not the intensity that led to the cancer. Misdirected it can be malign.'

'I am sure.'

'Well, I'll be off to my bed. I am reading Moby Dick. I felt I should acquaint myself a little more with the Americans in preparation for this trip. The writing is very energetic -- the Americans are energetic, I admire them for that -- but it could do with some editing. There is far too much about harpoons.'

'Yes,' said Vi. 'I agree with you about that too.'

'Well, goodnight, dear.'

-- Salley Vickers, Dancing Backwards (2009)


BwcaBrownie said...

and now I will also be reading her.
Crisp dialogue.
'Misdirected it can be malign'.
Thanks SLiWiCat

Fyodor said...

You can never have too many harpoons. Or gypsies.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Or gypsies with harpoons. Have we just invented a new genre?

Suse said...

Ooh I'm a huge Vickers fan. Last year I read all three of her previous novels for the second time each, and I recently purchased Dancing Backwards for my husband for his birthday. Annoyingly, he wanted to read to read his gift first (the cheek), so I haven't got my paws on it yet, but I'm greatly looking forward to it.

(Word verif is aripsy, which is gypsy with arrow, rather than harpoon?)

Fyodor said...

"Or gypsies with harpoons. Have we just invented a new genre?"

Oh. Yeah. Baby. And you know what sea gypsies mean? That's right: pirates! Now, all we need to do is work ninja vampires and an Austinesque* romcom ripoff into the mix and we've got a sure-fire bestseller on our hands. Damn, this shit just writes itself.

*Or Austenesque - depends on how shagedelic the sauciness gets.