Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others, they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men.
That opening from Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the best openings in literature.
The rhythm and pacing of ZNH’s sentences, the truthfulness and conviction in what she’s saying. It’s just a beautiful opening, I think.
And it sets the stage for the entire novel, along with this second paragraph.
Now, women forget all the things they don’t want to remember, and remember all the things they don’t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.
Quite a contrast of description in those two opening paragraphs.
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