Sunday, October 23, 2022

It is no good to explain

In Hilary Mantel's brilliant historical novel, Wolf Hall, specifically in the chapter, "Alas, What Shall I Do for Love?"Eustace Chapuys digs into the past life of Thomas Cromwell in the hope of defending Catherine of Aragon and preventing Anne Boleyn from being married to King Henry VIII. There's this paragraph where Mantel gets inside the head of Cromwell, who keeps his past in secrecy.

... It is no use to justify yourself. It is no good to explain. It is weak to be anecdotal. It is wise to conceal the past even if there is nothing to conceal. A man's power is in the half-light, in the half-seen movements of his hand and the unguessed-at expressions of his face. It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, and desires.

Interesting to read this, isn't it, in this age of over-sharing?



Post a Comment

<< Home