| NOTES |
of the literary and musical variety.

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For all my life, I thought that she was the receptacle into which I would put some seed of mine, make the family I wanted, but it was I who was the empty vessel, carved stubborn as stone, as unburnable as the moon, ready at last to be filled with the fire and with the song, and these last two elements were weaved so deeply into the hidden magic of the world that I had forgotten to count them among my numbers, although all my life they had been there to make us … By Matt Bell, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, page 287

There were twelve elements, and the eleventh was called memory. Memory, as all the earth was filled with, as all our bones. Memory, as an element breaking and taking apart the others, storing them away. Memory, so that even after the other elements were gone they were still there, so that even after they were used up they were already returning. By Matt Bell, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, page 120

And in this room: the sound of my wife’s knuckle first sliding beneath the beaten silver of that ring, a sound never before heard, or else forgotten amid all the other business of our wedding day. By Matt Bell, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, page 99.

He tries not only to explore what the story of the flood might mean in the present age of environmental anxiety and apocalyptic religion, but also, more radically, to imagine what it might have felt like to live in a newly created, already-ruined world, and to scan the skies for clues about what its creator might be thinking. By A.O. Scott, NY Times review of Noah, March 28, 2014