Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The first paragraph of Alain Robbe-Grillet's 1959 novel Jealousy:

Now the shadow of the column -- the column which supports the southwest corner of the roof -- divides the corresponding corner of the veranda into two equal parts. The veranda is a wide, covered gallery surrounding the house on three sides. Since its width is the same for the central portion as for the sides, the line of the shadow cast by the column extends precisely to the corner of the house; but it stops there, for only the veranda flagstones are reached by the sun, which is still too high in the sky. The wooden walls of the house -- that is, its front and west gable-end -- are still protected from the sun by the roof (common to the house proper and the terrace). So at this moment the shadow of the outer edge of the roof coincides exactly with the right angle formed by the terrace and the two vertical surfaces of the corner of the house.

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