Jeff in Venice

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi is not Geoff Dyer on best form, but just when you think you can’t take any more of Junket Jeff downing Bellinis in Venice or drifting in Varanasi, he comes out with a passage like this, and suddenly there isn’t a book you’d rather be reading:

Her voice promised absolute devotion; but then the note was stretched further still, beyond this, until you wondered what you would have to do to be worthy of such devotion, such love. You would have to be that note, not the object of devotion but the devotee. Her voice slid and swooped. It was like those perfect moments in life, moments when what you hope for most is fulfilled and, by being fulfilled, changed – changed, in this instance, into sound: when, in a public place, you glimpse the person you most want to see and there is nothing surprising about it; the pattern in the random, when accident slides into destiny. A note was stretched out as long as possible and then a little longer; it continued, somewhere, long after it was capable of being heard. It is still there, even now.

For Geoff Dyer at his best (IMHO) read Out of Sheer Rage. This is one of my favourite books and it’s every bit as wild and wonderful as its progenitor, Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature .

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