Archive for the '47 Years Old' Category

Forty-Seven Year Old: Moses Herzog



He took off his shoes, his jacket, loosened his collar, opened his front-room windows. Warm currents of air with the slightly contaminated odor of the harbour lifted his shabby curtains and the window shade. This flow of air calmed him slightly. No, the good of his heart evidently didn’t count for much, for here, at the age of forty-seven, he was coming home after a night out with a lip made sore by biting and kissing, his problems as unsolved as ever, and what else did he have to show for himself at the bar of judgement? He had had two wives; there were two children; he had once been a scholar, and in the closet his old valise was swelled like a scaly crocodile with his uncompleted manuscript. While he delayed, others came up with the same ideas. Two years ago a Berkeley professor named Mermelstein had scooped him, confounding, overwhelming, stunning everyone in the field, as Herzog had meant to do. Mermelstein was a clever man, and an excellent scholar. At least he must be free from personal drama and able to give the world an example of order, thus deserving a place in the human community. But he, Herzog, had committed a sin of some kind against his own heart, while in pursuit of a grand synthesis.

Saul Bellow, Herzog

Published in: 47 Years Old | on September 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »

Forty-Seven Year Old: Julia Ferndale



‘Such weather, Mrs Ferndale!’ Diane remarked, and when Julia murmured a reply the girl went on to speak about her parents’ opinion of her boyfriend, Nevil Clapp. ‘I mean,’ she finished up eventually, ‘they’re not being fair.’

The hair that Diane snipped at was short and brown, with quite some grey in it. Faint little lines had begun to blink around Julia’s eyes, coming or going with changes of expression or mood; a few faint freckles had always been just visible on her forehead. At forty-seven her round face was not yet empty of the beauty that had once distinguished it: now and again it echoed in her smile, or in the depths of her blue-green eyes. Her mother had once said that Julia had a look of a Filippo Lippi Madonna, a similar delicacy in profile, the same reddish tinge in her hair. But there was plumpness now as well: Julia’s daughters had stolen the Madonna look.

William Trevor, Other People’s Worlds

Published in: 47 Years Old | on September 22nd, 2011 | 1 Comment »