Emmet’s girlfriend Alice has left.
‘She was gone when he got back. There was money on the desk, for rent, which made Emmet sad, and a note on the bed he really did not want to read. Alice had the kind of handwriting that put little circles over the i’s, and sticky-out puppy tongues where the full stop should be. Alice’s handwriting made him feel like a child-molester. The note was a single sheet of paper, inside which she had written the verse everyone quotes, by Rumi:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
And rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.’
Anne Enright, The Green Road.
There was something out of kilter with his mother’s happiness, as though a light had been switched on by a passing stranger, and left to illuminate an empty room.
Anne Enright, The Green Road, (Jonathan Cape)p 216
(From an interview with the writer, Anne Enright)
The Believer: Can you talk about what happens as you work your way into a new book, what that part of your process is like?
Anne Enright: What you have to do is not leave the house. You have to not get up and get some exercise and do yoga and clear your head. It’s the opposite of that. You start writing, and it falls apart very quickly. And then you have to start again. In the beginning, you have a plan for a book that everyone will love in various ways. And then you start writing and you realize you have a different kind of book on your hands. And so the easy, conventional novel, the idea of that novel, falls apart, and you must start writing the thing itself. If you resist and you continue to pursue the easy idea, you get a fake novel, written according to a preordained pattern. The world is full of them. You have to be less controlling. It’s like getting a herd of sheep across a field. If you try to control them too much, they resist. It’s the same with a book. If you try to control it too much, the book is dead. You have to let it fall apart quite early on and let it start doing its own thing. And that takes nerve, not to panic that the book you were going to write is not the book you will have at the end of the day. (from here)