Saturday, August 27

A Profound Sigh

The last chamber was devoted to bead-work, weaving and work in brass.  The faces of the patients here wore the expression of one who has just sighed profoundly, dismissing something insoluble - but their sighs only marked the beginning of another ceaseless round of ratiocination, not in a line a with normal people but in the same circle.  Round, round, and round.  Around forever.  But the bright colours of the stuffs they worked with gave strangers a momentary illusion that all was well, as in a kindergarten. 
Part II, Chapter XIV, Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1934.

This is a very poignant passage, isn't it?  I can just visualise "the expression of one who has just sighed profoundly".  It kind of appears to me like a melting wax mask or silk mask, even, pale and softly, sadly slumping downwards. 

That is such a truthful statement, about the bright colours giving you the illusion that everything was well, as in a kindergarten.  It's completely true, and I don't want to talk about it because you already believe it, don't you? 


  1. You always find the best passages! I love the kindergarten line :) And what a shame they didn't tell you about who got school captain!!!

  2. Yeah, people often believe that giving something the appearance of cheeriness will give them something to be cheerful about in actuality. Beautiful passage, as always. :)


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