Review: Closed Casket
2 hours ago
The story ran on, Caroline and Roderick prompting more of it; they spoke to each other rather than to me, and, shut out of the game, I looked from mother to daughter to son and finally caught the likenesses between them, not just the similarities of feature-the long limbs, the high-set eyes-but the almost clannish little tricks of gesture and speech. And I felt a flicker of impatience with them-the faintest stirring of a dark dislike-and my pleasure in the lovely room was slightly spoiled. Perhaps it was the peasant blood in me, rising. But Hundreds Hall has been made and maintained, I thought, by the very people they were laughing at now. (25)
|Crushing cumin for chili|
|"A.G. "Sweetwiches"-our Valentine dessert)|
|Potato Bread on its 2nd rise-looking plump and airy.|
|First loaf out of the oven and ready to toast.|
Had a miracle happened? My father come to see me? In a rush of gladness words from Isaiah flashed before me as in letters of fire: "I will join the hearts of the parents and the children." Never had there been any show of feeling between Father and us children. Only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, he put his hands over our heads to bless us. Now, as I looked at him, he seemed to me like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Solomon, and David, all joined together in the one wise old face. An this man with all the ancient prophets shining out of his eyes-my father. (she's so happy to see him even after all the bad)"Father," I cried. An then my voice stopped. For I suddenly became aware of his cold, hard glance on me."Is it true what Max Goldstein said?" His eyes glared. "Is it true you refused him?" Not a word could force itself out of my tight throat. "Answer me! Answer me!" His voice grew louder and harsher."It wasn't the real love," I stammered, hardly aware what I was saying."Love you want yet? What do you know about love? How could any man love a lawless, conscienceless thing like you? I never dreamed that a decent man would want to marry you. You had a chance to make a good ending to a bad play, and you push away such a luck match with your own hands. I always knew you were crazy. Now I see you're your worst enemy." (204)
"I'll show you how quickly I can marry off the girls when I put my head on it." "Yah," sneered Mother."You showed me enough how quickly you can spoil your daughters' chances the minute you mix yourself in.If you had only let Mashah alone, she would have been married to a piano-player.""Did you want me to let in a man who plays on the Sabbath in our family? A piano player has no more character than a poet." "Nu-Berel Bernstein was a man of character, a man who was about to become a manufacturer.""But he was a stingy piker. For my daughters' husbands I want to pick out men who are people in the world."
"Where will you find better men than those they can find for themselves?"
"I'll go to old Zaretzky, the matchmaker. All the men on his list are guaranteed characters."
"But the minute you begin with the matchmaker you must have dowries like in Russia yet."
"With me for their father they get their dowries in their brains and in their good looks." (71)
I had just begun to peel the potatoes for dinner when my oldest sister came in, her eyes far away and very tired. She dropped on the bench by the sink and turned her head to the wall. One look at her, and I knew she had not yet found work. I went on peeling the potatoes, but I no more knew what my hands were doing. I felt only the dark hurt of her weary eyes. (1)
"We must dry our heads worrying for bread, while they bathe themselves in milk and soak in honey." (81)
Mother skimmed off the fat part of the potato soup, and carefully picked out all the little pieces of suet and fried onions for Father's plate, and handed it to him. "Woman!" Father frowned. "Why have you no meat for my dinner this whole week? With the hard brain work I do day and night, I can't live on the flavour of onions!" (81)My quest for weekend cooking is to make some bread for this albeit fiction, yet starving family. I can't resist. They need some good bread. They need a whole pot of potato soup.