The following is a snippet from the PEN/Faulkner
Award winning novel Mao II
, by Don Delillo
. It's a rather long quote from a copywrited book, I know, but I don't think the Gods of Penquin Books
are going to toss legalisic lightening from New York
, being that this could very well sell more of their books. To them it's an ad
, not an infrigement
(From Chapter 2)
"...Then she picked up the remote control and lowered the volume on the TV, touch touch touch, until it was totally off. ... She was watching the world news of the day. On any given day it was mainly the film footage that she wanted to see and she didn't mind watching without sound. It was interesting how you could make up the news as you went along by sticking to the picture only.
She sees men and boys at first, a swarming maleness, a thickness of pressed-together bodies. Then a crowd, thousands, filling the screen. It looks like slow motion but she knows it isn't. It is real time with bodies pressed and heaving, like bodies rolling in a sea swell, several arms raised above the crowd. They show bodies at odd angles. They show men standing off to the side somewhere, watching sort of half interested. She sees a great straining knot of people pressed to a fence, forced massively forward. They show the metal fence and bodies crushed against it, arms upflung. They show the terrible slow straining and heaving. What is it called, writhing? The camera is just outside the fence shooting straight in through the heavy-gauge steel wire. She sees men far back actually climbing on top of the mass of bodies, two men crawling on all the heads and shoulders. She sees the crowd pushed toward the fence and the people at the fence pressed together and terribly twisted. It is an agony of raised and twisted arms and suffering faces. They show men calmly watching. They show men in shorts and jerseys, soccer players wearing those high stockings they wear, standing in the grass. There are bodies packed solid, filling the screen, and people barely moving at the fence, pressing and forced into one twisted position. She see a boy in a white cap with a red peak and he has an expression on his face of what a nice day or here I am on my way home from school and they are dying around him, they are writhing and twisted with open mouths and bloated tongues showing. Soccer is called football abroad. She sees the fence up close and they stop the film and it is like a religious painting, the scene could be a fresco in a tourist church, it is composed and balanced and filled with people suffering. She sees the faces of a woman and a girl and a large hand of a man behind them, the women's wet tresses, her arm twisted against the steel strands of the fence, the girl crushed and buckled under someone's elbow, the boy in the white cap with the red peak standing in the midst, in the crush, only now he senses, his eyes are shut, he senses he is trapped, his face is reading desperation. She sees people caught in stangleholds of no intent, arms upflung, faces popping out at her, hands trying to reach the fence but only floating in the air, a man's large hand, a long-haired boy in a denim shirt with his back to the fence, the face of the woman with the tresses hidden behind her own twisted arm, nails painted glossy pink, a girl or woman with eyes closed and tongue showing, dying or dead. In people's faces she sees the hopeleness of knowing. They show men calmly looking on. They show the fence from a distance, bodies piling up behind it, smothered, sometimes only fingers moving, and it is like a fresco in an old dark church, a crowded twisted vision of a rush to death as only a master of the age could paint it."