Book Ten: The Pilgrim Hawk

The Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story, Glenway Wescott

There's an interesting phenomenon with prose. The shorter the prose, the more precious the words. Example, a 1,000-page biography of Mao: I don't really care what words you use, just tell me the damn story. On the other end of the spectrum is poetry: super precious, especially when reading aloud, you must. Punctuate. Each. Word. With. Emphasis. Haikus: ultimate in preciousness, you must meditate on each word for several days and even then maybe you don't get all the meanings.

And that is why it felt like I read this little novella two or three times, just by going back and rereading sections, paragraphs, lines. Mr. Glenway Wescott must be telling me something important in here, right? I mean, look at the title. If it was just The Pilgrim Hawk that would be one thing. But followed by A Love Story? Once you read the book, you will know exactly how loaded those three words really are. Love? Between Mrs. Cullen and her husband? Between Mrs. Cullen and her falcon? Between the narrator and Alex? Between the reader and narrator? And the falcon? All of the above? Reading this book felt like being in a kind of trance. There's nothing terribly fascinating or weird about the telling of the story, but it pulls you into this strange little world of characters and it's hard to pull yourself out.

I loved it.


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