Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Marianne Wiggins, Evidence of Things Unseen

Marianne Wiggins, Evidence of Things Unseen. A strange and lovely book. Maybe a little too luminous; such beautiful language, but at times it seemed overwrought, too delicate and elaborate. Opal and Ray (the names are not an accident in a book whose principle obsession is light) are the two quietly elusive people whose romance and lives the main story arc follows. Ray Foster's scientific (or phenomenological) passions didn't really convince me, but the scientific optimism of the early part of the last century did; overall the place and times came through more strongly than the people - it's hard to have two such non-verbal people as your focus, I think. That may be why last portion of the book, dealing with the son Ray Jr (or lightfoot - see what I mean about the light vocabulary?) was a simpler story - more direct, maybe a little stock, but lightfoot and Flash (again!) were so much more transparent or accessible. Or less opaque? I'm being infected by the language of light... But a beautiful phosphorescent story.

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