Saturday, February 16, 2008

I heart Angela Carter

I am rationing the oeuvre of the great Angela Carter. I always wind up closing her books, sometimes mid-paragraph, shaking my head and getting a little teary-eyed to think that there will be no more of her novels or short stories. Right now I'm reading another story collection of hers, Saints and Strangers (originally published as Black Venus in the UK), and this passage from "The Kitchen Child" is just too lovely not to share:
And, indeed, is there not something holy about a great kitchen? Those vaults of soot-darkened stone far above me, where the hams and strings of onions and bunches of dried herbs dangle, looking somewhat like the regimental banners that unfurl above the aisles of old churches. The cool, echoing flags scrubbed spotless twice a day by votive persons on their knees. The scoured gleam of row upon row of metal vessels dangling from hooks or reposing on their shelves till needed with the air of so many chalices waiting for the celebration of the sacrament of food. And the range like an altar, yes, an altar, before which my mother bowed in perpetual homage, a fringe of sweat upon her upper lip and fire glowing in her cheeks.
Gorgeous.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I can just imagine you snuggled in bed reading with a tear in your eye. Oh how I miss you!