Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wilder Words: Happy Spring! Via E.L Doctorow's "Ragtime"

Happy spring, dear world. It's days like this (76 degrees in Boston!) when everything can be going wrong, and then the minute you step outside into the soft air and the warm sun you just smile and go "all right," a la Patti Smith. E.L. Doctorow's images of spring as a "mad magician" make me sublimely happy--I love the "blades of iris" and "the heavy lilac" (whole quote after the jump in case you can't read my handwriting).

"Spring, spring! Like a mad magician flinging his silks and colored rags from his trunk the earth produced the yellow and white crocus, then the fox grape, the forshythia flowering on its stalks, the blades of iris, the apple blossoms of pink and white and green, the heavy lilac and the daffodil."
-E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime, page 196

I just read Ragtime for the first time over my vacation in Antigua. The book was turned into a musical and my high school put it on when I was a freshman; I went to see it three nights in a row, I loved it so much. The book proved to be just a wonderful, if not more so, as the show--Doctorow uses adjectives with such skill and his sentences are so perfectly constructed that the book drives itself, flowing from character to character, story line to story line. It is an expansive, violent, loving, and funny book. I highly recommend reading it if you haven't yet.

And the happiest of springs :) Go outside, even if you can only spare five minutes, and soak up some sun.


  1. I love that book! Nothing like a bit of historical fiction to put you in a good mood.

    1. I agree, Susie. Us history nerds gotta stick together.


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