The Theoretical Foot
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It tells of a late-summer idyll at the Swiss farmhouse of Tim and Sara, where guests have gathered at ease on the terrace next to the burbling fountain in which baby lettuces are being washed, there to enjoy the food and wine served them by this stylish American couple.
But all around these seemingly fortunate people, the forces of darkness are gathering: The year is 1939; World War Two approaches. And the paradise Tim and Sara have made is being besieged from within as Tim -- closely based on Parrish -- is about to suffer the first of the circulatory attacks that will cause him to lose his leg to amputation.
tendrils with Joe all entwined about an old vine-ridden tree and herself tearing and pecking at the monstrous plant with her little beak and her tiny brittle claws. Joe laughed at her gratingly, a sound like dry wood as her wings beat the air. The tendrils turned into tough cloths, striped cruelly with bands of torturing red and green and yellow. She pulled up and wrenched, feeling the lines wrap themselves around her wings then her throat and over her open and panting beak. Susan, now
A few moments later she heard Joe’s soft and heavy steps. She opened her eyes and saw him standing beside her, a tall glass in either hand, his heavy brows now dark and somber above his clearly puzzled eyes. When he noticed that she was watching him he started, almost sleepily, then smiled down at her. “Here, my sweet Sue,” he murmurred. He handed her one of the glasses, then sat down on the couch beside her. She took a sip of the liquid, pale and brown, which was pleasantly mild and so cold
and so on. She would maybe take a shower—a long one—then go to Lucy’s room and tell her she wasn’t going. I might go a little early and tell her some more lies about high times in the sorority house . . . I suppose I should be ashamed of myself but she does love these stories and I do feel so damn sorry for her. If I thought I’d be like that at her age, so lonely and dull, I’d kill myself right now. Nan isn’t that way. My parents aren’t. The trouble with Lucy is that she seems to be hungry always
could yet imagine the enormity of the coming evil. Tim and Sara and their guests cannot yet grasp that all existence lies at a perilous edge in those final days of August and that they’re about to be exiled from the paradise of La Prairie. They—and we—simply cannot know what disaster will look like when it arrives, only that it surely will. THE DARK CHORD with which the book begins is mysteriously struck at strategic intervals. Written lyrically, as if from the midst of an opium dream, these
before they came I learned that it will be impossible to publish the thing and furthermore that I had wrought irrevocable damage to one of the few friendships that I care about. I was shocked and terribly surprised. But Tim has always said that I am basically naïve and I suppose that was proof that he’s correct. Anyway . . . it did me good to learn that you both thought the book had its good points. I’ll put it away and start soon on another one.” Indeed, a year or so after Dillwyn’s death,