Saturday, April 2, 2016

An Author Who Understands Deep Depression

I am reading an excellent novel by Pascale Quiviger.  The title is "The Breakwater House".  Short version is that it is a novel about mothers' relationships with their daughters.

The first chapter is a sad one; a  young daughter has apparently died and her mother has cycled into a deep depression and is attempting to regain reality. What strikes me is the succinct accuracy with which Quiviger describes that journey:

"In stories about ups and downs, it all seems so natural. The account itself has no weight. It can't convey the mornings of leaden feet, clenched teeth, folded lungs. What defines the descent is the fact that we no longer believe it is possible to rise again.  What defines the ascent is how we grope our way back up, searching to make immediate sense of things.  We have to break loose from the relative comfort of inertia, from the murky waters that sweep us away, from our familiar sorrows, from a wallowing in the unbearable.  We must withstand the relapses, wipe clean the slate of our soul, annihilate the dragon that has grabbed hold of our weapons, forgive the old, scabby delinquencies, shift at least one thing in the house, reinvent the wheel and then set it in motion."

So sadly true........

(English translation by Lazer Lederhendler; House of Anansi Press Inc., Toronto, 2010.)

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