Monday, July 16, 2007

Sense of Place Contest

Maggie over at Maggie Reads has added an additional contest to the Southern Reading Challenge. She asks readers to pick a passage from one of our challenge books that depicts a sense of place, and post a picture along with that passage.

I decided to select a passage from The Optimist's Daughter (linked to my review). Although a large part of the book takes place in the main characters' hometown, Mount Salus, Mississippi, I chose a different location that Eudora Welty captured perfectly. The following passage depicts the train journey that Laurel and her step-mother took after the death of Judge McKelva, returning from New Orleans to Mount Salus.

"Set deep in the swamp, where the black trees were welling with buds like red drops, was one low beech that had kept its last year's leaves, and it appeared to Laurel to travel along with their train, gliding at a magic speed through the cypresses they left behind. It was her own reflection in the windowpane--the beech tree was her head. Now it was gone. As the train left the black swamp and pulled out into the space of Pontchartrain, the window filled with a featureless sky over pale smooth water, where a seagull was hanging with wings fixed, like a stopped clock on the wall." (p. 45)
Causeway over Lake Pontchartrain


Maggie said...

Man, you are quick! :D This is great and I can see a roundness in the middle of the swamp photo which could encapsle(sp) my head if I saw it through a window.

Nyssaneala said...

Thanks! I think I'm starting to get a little tired of doing all my HP posts (still love the books though!), so it was fun to work on something different.

iliana said...

Great job! I love the sentence about the seagull, like a stopped clock.

Bookfool said...

Gorgeous picture choices. I'm looking at your other post, here, and am glad to see you gave it a B+. So many other bloggers have hated this book that it's put me off - I really didn't like The Robber Bridegroom, the only Welty book I've read. But, I'm going to read The Optimist's Daughter, someday, because it's already on my shelf. Stuck. Gotta read it. The quote is wonderful.

Lotus Reads said...

I love your pictures, especially the one of the swamp. My friends and family think I'm crazy but I really love swamps and marshes,not sure why, perhaps because there's something so primitive about it? Loved reading the passage too.