Tinkers 1 csillagozás

Paul Harding: Tinkers Paul Harding: Tinkers Paul Harding: Tinkers Paul Harding: Tinkers

An old man lies dying. Propped up in his living room and surrounded by his children and grandchildren, George Washington Crosby drifts in and out of consciousness, back to the wonder and pain of his impoverished childhood in Maine. As the clock repairer’s time winds down, his memories intertwine with those of his father, an epileptic, itinerant peddler and his grandfather, a Methodist preacher beset by madness.

At once heartbreaking and life affirming, Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, illness, faith, and the fierce beauty of nature.

Eredeti megjelenés éve: 2008

192 oldal · puhatáblás · ISBN: 9780099538042
Bellevue Literary Press, New York, 2009
192 oldal · ISBN: 9781934137123
192 oldal · puhatáblás · ISBN: 9781934137123

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Tinker, tinker. Tin, tin, tin. Tintinnabulation.


I breathed the book before I saw it; tasted the book before I read it.


And as the ax bites into the wood, be comforted in the fact that the ache in your heart and the confusion in your soul means that you are still alive, still human, and still open to the beauty of the world, even though you have done nothing to deserve it.


What of miniature boats constructed of birch bark and fallen leaves, launched onto cold water clear as air? How many fleets were pushed out toward the middles of ponds or sent down autumn brooks, holding treasures of acorns, or black feathers, or a puzzled mantis? Let those grassy crafts be listed alongside the iron hulls that cleave the sea, for they are all improvisations built from the daydreams of men, and all will perish, whether from the ocean siege or October breeze.


When his grandchildren had been little, they had asked if they could hide inside the clock. Now he wanted to gather them and open himself up and hide them among his ribs and faintly ticking heart.


I just wish that you had made it beyond the bounds of this cold little radius, that when the archaeologists brush off this layer of our world in a million years and string off the boundaries of our rooms and tag and number every plate and table leg and shinbone, you would not be there; yours would not be the remains they would fine and label juvenile male; you would be a secret, the existence of which they would never even be aware to try to solve.


Howard thought, Is it not true: A move of the head, a step to the left or right, and we change from wise, decent, loyal people to conceited fools? Light changes, our eyes blink and see the world from the slightest difference of perspective and our place in it has changed infinitely: Sun catches cheap plate flaking--I am a tinker; the moon is an egg glowing in its nest of leafless trees--I am a poet; a brochure for an asylum is on the dresser--I am an epileptic, insane; the house is behind me--I am a fugitive. His despair had not come from the fact that he was a fool; he knew he was a fool. The despair came from the fact that his wife saw him as a fool, as a useless tinker, a copier of bad verses from two-penny religious magazines, an epileptic, and could find no reason to turn her head and see him as something better.


…and the only thing common to all of this is that I feel sorrow so deep, it must be love…


Howard resented the ache in his heart. He resented that it was there every morning when he woke up… He resented equally the ache and resentment itself. He resented his resentment because it was a sign of his limitations of spirit and humility, no matter that he understood that such was each man's burden. He resented the ache because it was uninvited, seemed imposed, a sentence, and, despite the encouragement he gave himself each morning, it baffled him because it was there whether the day was good or bad, whether he witnessed major kindness or minor transgression, suffered sourceless grief or spontaneous joy.


Who was the greatest business man ever. . . The greatest salesman? Advertiser? Who? . . . It was Jesus. . . Jesus was the founder of modern business. . . he picked up twelve men from the bottom ranks of business and forged them into an organization that conquered the world!

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