Thursday, August 17, 2006

The start, I think I know too well. It is the first of my mistakes

I imagine a table, slick with blood. The blood is my mother's. There is too much of it. There is so much of it, I think it runs, like ink. I think, to save the boards beneath, the women have set down china bowls; and so the silence between my mother's cries are filled-drip drop! drip drop!-with what might be the staggered beating of clocks. Beyond the beat come other, fainter cries: the shrieks of lunatics, the shouts and scolds of nurses. For this is a madhouse. My mother is mad. The table has straps upon it to keep her from plunging to the floor; another strap separates her legs, so that I might emerge from between them. When I am born, the straps remain: the women fear she will tear me in two! They put me upon her bosom and my mouth finds out her breast. I suck, and the house falls silent about me. There is only, still, that falling blood-drip drop! drop drop!-the beat telling off the first few minutes of my life, the last of hers. For soon, the clocks run slow. My mother's bosom rises and falls, rises again; then sinks for ever.

I feel it, and suck harder. Then the women pluck me from her. And when I weep, they hit me.


- Sarah Waters Fingersmith

7 comments:

iliana said...

Oh this is good! I've been saving Fingersmith for a while now but I'm tempted to move it up on my reading pile. Have you read some of her other books? I've read Tipping the Velvet & Affinity (which I loved!).

M. Barresi said...

This is my first Waters novel. I had never even heard of her until Night Watch came out and everyone in litblog world was writing about it. I'm definitely a fan now and will seek out Affinity and Tipping the Velvet next. Any rec's on which I should shoot for first?

litlove said...

Fingersmith is just plain wonderful. How Waters maintains her voice throughout is incredible. I hope you enjoy the rest!

iliana said...

I would say Affinity but then again I have a thing for any story to do with mediums and spirits.

Danielle said...

All her books sound appealing to me. Every time I read someone's review of something good, I tell myself that one is next....

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read » » »

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Does anyone have an idea as to what the passage above means? Maud's birth through her mother.