Saturday, August 19, 2023

Typecast 10: Bring up the bodies

He is not in the habit of explaining himself. He is not in the habit of discussing his successes. But whenever good fortune has called on him, he has been there, planted on the threshold, ready to fling open the door to her timid scratch on the wood.

That's a portion of the last paragraph of the sixth page of Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies. It's the second book of her Cromwell trilogy. I read the first book first, then the third. This book, the second, is when Anne Boleyn dies. There is hardly any surprise in the factual events of the story; much has been written about it. But it is Mantel's brilliant writing that draws me to her work. She crafts perfect sentences, if there are such things. 

I was at National Bookstore (SM Gensan) this morning. I visited the neglected spot on the right corner of the store, where books on sale were displayed. I saw a young man, probably in college, read the first chapter of Grit. He kept looking at the price tag, wondering, perhaps, if he had enough money for the week if he bought the paperback. I wanted to get it for him, but he left before I made the offer. I stayed on, sifted through the pile, and spotted Mantel's book right away. I bought it for Php 299. The dot-matrix printer at the cashier was not working. I said I didn't need the official receipt anyway. The lady at the counter thanked me, as she fixed the ribbons on the device. (I love the sound of dot matrix printers. We had one at the KNCHS Recorder, our high school newsletter.) 

I tell myself repeatedly that I shouldn't buy any more books. But who am I kidding?  I said the same thing about typewriters, but I just placed an order for a 1948 Underwood.

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