[Epub] ➢ Hangsaman ➣ Shirley Jackson – Dcrjservices.co.uk

[Epub] ➢ Hangsaman ➣ Shirley Jackson – Dcrjservices.co.uk chapter 1 Hangsaman, meaning Hangsaman, genre Hangsaman, book cover Hangsaman, flies Hangsaman, Hangsaman c1878587de5ff HANGSAMAN Is Miss Jackson S Second Novel The Story Is A Simple One But The Overtones Are Immediately Present Natalie Waite Who Was Seventeen Years Old But Who Felt That She Had Been Truly Conscious Only Since She Was About Fifteen Lived In An Odd Corner Of A World Of Sound And Sight, Past The Daily Voices Of Her Father And Mother And Their Incomprehensible Actions In A Few Graphic Pages, The Family Is Before Us Arnold Waite, A Writer, Egotistical And Embittered His Wife, The Complaining Martyr Bud, The Younger Brother Who Has Not Yet Felt The Need To Establish His Independence And Natalie, In The Nightmare Of Being Seventeen The Sunday Afternoon Cocktail Party, To Which Arnold Waite Has Invited His Literary Friends And Neighbors, Serves To Etch In The Details Of This Family S Life, And To Draw Natalie Into The Vortex The Story Concentrates On The Next Few Critical Months In Natalie S Life, Away At College, Where Each Experience Reproduces On A Larger Scale The Crucial Failure Of Her Emotional Life At Home With A Mounting Tension Rising From Character And Situation As Well As The Particular Magic Of Which Miss Jackson Is Master, The Novel Proceeds Inexorably To The Stinging Melodrama Of Its Conclusion The Bitter Cruelty Of The Passage From Adolescence To Womanhood, Of A Sensitive And Lonely Girl Caught In A World Not Of Her Own Devising, Is A Theme Well Suited To Miss Jackson S Brilliant Talent.


10 thoughts on “Hangsaman

  1. says:

    At first I wondered how complicated to get with this, because it isn t a simple story But there isn t much you need to know, going in A coming of ager but in the Bell Jar or Catcher In The Rye vein author Shirley Jackson s quirky, truthful feeling book hits home with force, if not exactly heart warmingly A sophisticated, naive ing nue narrates her abrupt path from daughter and child to college woman , sometimes at a singing pitch of self discovery, sometimes reading all the signs wrongly an At first I wondered how complicated to get with this, because it isn t a simple story But there isn t much you need to know, going in A coming of ager but in the Bell Jar or Catcher In The Rye vein author Shirley Jackson s quirky, truthful feeling book hits home with force, if not exactly heart warmingly A sophisticated, naive ing nue narrates her abrupt path from daughter and child to college woman , sometimes at a singing pitch of self discovery, sometimes reading all the signs wrongly and foundering on the rocks Can sophisticated and na ve both be present at once There s nothing new here, exactly, but it isn t the lyrics so much as the music, the fretful high wire performance, the atmosphere of precocious youth wasting itself in girlish crushes, misread friendships and in the inevitable lonely vigils of the night, sighing that rings so true Jackson has worked out a kind of integrated second person commentary, often in the voicing of a news reporter, a detective or some other questioning persona but within the narration of the main character, NatalieShe wanted to sing and did so, soundlessly, her mouth against the fogged window of the bus, thinking as she sang, And when I first saw Natalie Waite, the most incredible personality of our time, the unbelievably talented, vivid, almost girlish creature when I first saw her, she was sitting in a bus, exactly as I or you might be, and for a minute I noticed nothing of her richness and then she turned and smiled at me Now, knowing her for what she is, the most vividly talented actress murderess courtesan dancer of our time or perhaps any time, I can seeclearly the enchanting contradictions within her her humor, her vicious flashing temper, so easily aroused and so quickly controlled by her iron will her world weary cynicism she has, after all, sufferedthan perhaps any other from the stings and arrows of outrageous fortune , her magnificent mind, so full of information, of deep pockets never explored wherein lie glowing thoughts Stings This can be fun, light and satirical, but it can also tilt toward the unnerving, as it is literally another voice in her head Jackson is after the coping mechanisms that come to us in our adolescence, those that evolve to distance or protect us and those that are so witheringly critical that they are generally blunted and stomped by experience.There is a great supporting cast, so naturally rendered that they somehow don t come off as instant characters Which they are The insufferably vain Father character here is strikingly, embarrassingly funny and lame His letters to Natalie at college are little masterpieces of self importance and blocked empathy Movies come to mind Resemblances stretch from the absolutely blatant fraudulence of Billy Liar all the way to the absolutely confoundingly weirdo Carnival Of Souls Step right up There are three balanced and interlocked acts to this book, each with its own timbre and emotional charge it isn t perfect, we overspend time in Natalie s internal argument that would have been better externalized but what gets across is compelling and the faults are minor The third and Finale part is beautifully quirked out and inspired Probably best not to say how or why Giving this five stars, as much for intent and inspiration as for execution


  2. says:

    Shirley Jackson writes mysteries where the mystery is, do you live in a sane world Is it mad Is there magic Is it good or bad magic Natalie Waite isn t sure she exists at all Or even suppose, imagine, could it be true that she was confined, locked away, pounding wildly against the bars on the window, attacking the keepers, biting at the doctors, screaming down the corridors that she was someone named Watalie Naite And later We are on a carpet, she announced soberly It unrolls in fro Shirley Jackson writes mysteries where the mystery is, do you live in a sane world Is it mad Is there magic Is it good or bad magic Natalie Waite isn t sure she exists at all Or even suppose, imagine, could it be true that she was confined, locked away, pounding wildly against the bars on the window, attacking the keepers, biting at the doctors, screaming down the corridors that she was someone named Watalie Naite And later We are on a carpet, she announced soberly It unrolls in front of us, but in back of us it rolls up and there is nothing under it Shirley Jackson would have loved the theory that we re all sprites in a computer simulation in some entirely other civilization Or maybe she would have shrugged and said yeah, obviously.Until recently Jackson was best known for her short story The Lottery, frequently assigned in high school during a segment that invariably also includes Ray Bradbury s All Summer in a Day Her novels are gaining recognition now, though, as she moves forward to join a cohort of savage women like Joyce Carol Oates and Muriel Spark Her best known books are Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle They have a gothic feel They re about outsiders They sit alone at cafeteria tables because Carson McCullers and Emily Bronte are alone at tables in other cafeterias Hangsaman was Jackson s second novel, and it s not entirely tightly wound Its plot is messy It can be divided into three parts view spoiler In part one, Natalie hangs out with her shitty, pompous writer dad She is possibly raped This will not come up again Part two puts on the coat of an academic novel about her shitty life at college She s lonely and badly depressed She s used by two girls, at least one of whom is fucking her married professor, as a distraction.In part three she has what looks like a nervous breakdown and considers suicide with the help of an imaginary friend You may find yourself flipping back through the book to see if Tony has come up before She has not.You had best figure out for yourself that Tony doesn t exist You ll have to decide for yourself about that rape, and whether Natalie is the dorm thief of the second part hide spoiler Jackson doesn t really lay any of it out for you She asks a lot from you, and it can be a little frustrating.The Three Shirley Jackson Books I ve Read, In Descending Order Of Plot TidinessWe Have Always Lived in the Castle Haunting of Hill House Hangsaman But listen, she still has yet to write a single sentence that I haven t loved She hits this sweet spot for me she s unique but accessible The other day we were talking about what author we d recommend to a non reader who wanted to try a classic I said Shirley Jackson My answer to a lot of questions is Shirley Jackson She s one of my actual favorites Appendix Books MentionedThe book Tony reads to Natalie Alice came out of her room with only her shoes and stockings on is The Way of a Man with a Maid, an anonymous 1908 BDSM novel that s decent for what it is What it is is smut Obviously I read and reviewed it.The fun but not super informative foreword by Francine Prose mentions a college class she taught called Strange Books Obviously we all wish we were there The syllabus, as far as she tells us, included Jakob von Gunten by Robert Walser The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno SchulzAnd unspecified works by Nikolai Gogol here s a good collection Heinrich Kleist author of The Marquise of O Jane Bowles Two Serious Ladies is so fucking cool Henry Green Party Going is strange and wonderful Wallace Shawn the dude who played the smartest man in the world in Princess Bride He writes Roberto Bola o 2666 is really something else Felisberto Hern ndez I dunno Dezs Kosztol nyi she mentions Skylark in one interview Hans Christian Anderson that guy I did some research online and fleshed the list out a bit, but found nospecifics Have emailed her begging for the exact reading list I am a thorough person Update she didn t write me back Sad me


  3. says:

    I read three Shirley Jackson novels this month The first was a bookgroup choice to celebrate Hallow een, the eerily entitled Haunting of Hill House I didn t write a review as it inspired few thoughts worth recording It made me laugh a little though.The second was We Have Always Lived in the Castle I read it to see what I d missed in the first, to try to figure out what there was in Jackson s writing that made other people rave about it And there were some great paragraphs, and I liked the i I read three Shirley Jackson novels this month The first was a bookgroup choice to celebrate Hallow een, the eerily entitled Haunting of Hill House I didn t write a review as it inspired few thoughts worth recording It made me laugh a little though.The second was We Have Always Lived in the Castle I read it to see what I d missed in the first, to try to figure out what there was in Jackson s writing that made other people rave about it And there were some great paragraphs, and I liked the interior world of the main character, but I was still a bit puzzled about Jackson s reputation.So I read Hangsaman Now I m convinced Shirley Jackson describes the terrors of a sensitive adolescent teetering on the edge of adulthood brilliantly She is a fine writerThe trouble is, Tony said, grinning, that you ve got this world, see And you ve got enemies in it, and they re enemies because they re smarter So you invent someone smart enough to destroy your enemies, you invent them so smart you ve got a new enemy


  4. says:

    I have never read anything like HANGSAMAN It is chilling, hyper surreal, and told with a mind altering narrative voice HANGSAMAN is like shooting a cocktail of vodka and meth it s weird, burns like hell, and you don t come down from those fever dreams the same person you were before the experience The most amazing thing about HANGSAMAN is that, on the surface, nothing happens A girl, Natalie, attends a dinner party where she is possibly assaulted, starts college, drinks a lot of martinis wi I have never read anything like HANGSAMAN It is chilling, hyper surreal, and told with a mind altering narrative voice HANGSAMAN is like shooting a cocktail of vodka and meth it s weird, burns like hell, and you don t come down from those fever dreams the same person you were before the experience The most amazing thing about HANGSAMAN is that, on the surface, nothing happens A girl, Natalie, attends a dinner party where she is possibly assaulted, starts college, drinks a lot of martinis with professors, and goes on long, thought addled walks This doesn t even sound like a story worth reading, and that s where Jackson works some voodoo She manages to create a dense atmosphere of isolation that permeates the spaces between the non events Even the trauma that triggers Natalie s increasingly strange psychological break doesn t happen in the usual sense of events unfolding on a page Instead, Jackson gives the reader access to only the reverberations of the event This is either a masterful literary technique, or dark magic, and I m placing bets on the latter The story received through the twisted and unreliable narrator who recites Natalie s thoughts is fascinating, in the way a fish hook piercing flesh is sickly fascinating Natalie doesn t fit in, and the details of life in an all girls dorm is unimpeachable, including the strange spate of random thefts Several girls report being slapped awake in the middle of the night, but are too startled to identify the culprit Is it Natalie, slapping and stealing There are plenty of clues it probably, maybe is but HANGSAMAN is not a novel of absolutes Jackson litters the work with half hints I read with the excitement of discovering something amazingly rare in a pile of moldering leaves For example, Natalie writes gut wrenching letters home to her father, but the missives may or may not have been intercepted by her mother Natalie may or may not be in a sexual relationship with a girl in the dorm, or Natalie may or may not simply have an alternate personality brought on by the trauma that we never see directly The narrator is a wily one, and it is unclear where Natalie ends and the narrator begins The two bleed into one another until you cannot distinguish your vantage within the story This is part of Jackson s dark magic she gives you direct access to the experience of a deeply disturbed mind, but without the gimmicky feel of first person Indeed, having an I in HANGSAMAN would change the texture of the work, damage it irreparably Natalie s entire problem is she has no idea who she is, and just as she was on the cusp of discovery, trauma knocked her from being a bit overly imaginative into being batshit crazy Natalie has no I, and Jackson wisely steers clear of trying to force one Jackson leverages the strange, blended narrative persona to excellent effect right from the opening scenes A detective interrogates Natalie in her mind It is only on a second or third read that it sinks in that the exchange between Natalie and her imaginary detective is so very, very strange because the detective is prescient His questions can be applied to multiple situations that arise throughout the novel, and it is illuminating that at the time the questions are shared with the reader, they are entirely out of context In some sense, it feels like Natalie s future self the narrator is interjecting thoughts back into the past It exacerbates the disorientation HANGSAMAN inspires, and it resonates with the strange psychology in us all.HANGSAMAN is a bizarre, nightmare trance I came up from reading it feeling deeply affected, infected The prose warped my mind I found myself thinking like the narrator reporting Natalie s musings it was disturbing HANGSAMAN is not a book for anyone on the brink of a mental breakdown It is a dangerous beast It will swallow you whole It is frightfully unique, and one of the most masterful novels I ve experienced


  5. says:

    Hangsaman is a strange novel by any standards as if trying to remember a dream I feel the urge to write this blog quickly as I can, before it s unique internal logic fades from my mind Its central character is Natalie Whaite, a seventeen year old American girl on the verge of going to college The surface level events of the story are mundane, trite even Natalie has bourgeois parents, and goes to a respectable girls only college But what happens externally is not really the point this is a Hangsaman is a strange novel by any standards as if trying to remember a dream I feel the urge to write this blog quickly as I can, before it s unique internal logic fades from my mind Its central character is Natalie Whaite, a seventeen year old American girl on the verge of going to college The surface level events of the story are mundane, trite even Natalie has bourgeois parents, and goes to a respectable girls only college But what happens externally is not really the point this is a story about Natalie s inner life, and how she reacts to and absorbs the world around her parties thrown by her parents the machinations of cliquey and spiteful college girls the strangeness of returning to her family abode after months away Transformed by Jackson s inimitable prose, these mundane events seem vividly odd sinister even How much of this sense of threat is real and how much projected onto the world by Natalie s precocious yet vulnerable psyche is one of the central ambiguities of the book.Right from the start it is clear Natalie has a vivid imagination much like Eleanor from The Haunting Of Hill House, Natalie is someone whose propensity for daydreaming and fantasy seems alarmingly strong If her urge for escapism is so dominant, what is she escaping from Early on in the story a potentially traumatic event is hinted at, and it is clear that Natalie is repressing something but exactly what occurred is opaque, repressed by Jackson s narrative as much as by Natalie s mind Exactly what Natalie is thinking and feeling is often obscure it certainly isn t revealed directly in her chirpy interactions with a college professor and his young wife, or in her playful letters home to her father But what the reader becomes alert to is the brief glimpses that Natalie might actually feel unbearably lonely and distanced from the world And it s easy to understand why Natalie might be so alienated, when it and the characters it is peopled with are presented with satirical humour by Jackson In part this works so well because isn t this how we see the world as a teenager, as something faintly unrealistic, as a joke being played on us Because everything is focused through the character of Natalie, the differences in tone the novel can be cruelly humorous one minute, and disturbingly sinister the next don t seem to jar It shouldn t work, but it does.As the book reaches its final third, it darkens considerably, and the exact extent of what is real and what Natalie imagines is unclear, with double and triple bluffs confounding the reader It s a compelling read, and despite similarities to The Bell Jar and The Catcher In The Rye, a unique experience There s no one quite like Shirley Jackson andHangsaman seems to me to be her first queer, twisted masterpiece


  6. says:

    Foreword, by Francine Prose Hangsaman


  7. says:

    RereadMore often than not, the covers of Shirley Jackson s books are wildly inaccurate as to what s inside I didn t connect with this the first time I read it maybe I needed a lot of distance from my own seventeen year old self Being in someone s head, at least as rendered by Jackson, is intense Natalie describes her state of mind as so close to the irrational and so tempted by it page 130 what she s experiencing throughout is the process of individuation In the first section, as Natali RereadMore often than not, the covers of Shirley Jackson s books are wildly inaccurate as to what s inside I didn t connect with this the first time I read it maybe I needed a lot of distance from my own seventeen year old self Being in someone s head, at least as rendered by Jackson, is intense Natalie describes her state of mind as so close to the irrational and so tempted by it page 130 what she s experiencing throughout is the process of individuation In the first section, as Natalie tries to communicate with parents who are both liberal and restrictive, she narrates a running detective story in her head to block out their noise An incident before she leaves home for the first time seems almost thrown away, butthan once it s brought back to the reader s mind, as Natalie tries to suppress it Here she s speaking of something else, but a careful reader remembers what happened in the section before how perfectly abominable it is to be the receiver of such a thing, how dreadful and horrifying it is to have no choice at all Page 131 Natalie is not like the other girls at the exclusive college her father chose for her, and she denies she s lonely One girl who tries to befriend her is unsuitable in many ways, as a scary scene at the end of the second section illustrates Also unsuitable are two popular girls that use Natalie, and the girls former friend who s married to a young professor A chilling episode of Natalie standing under trees, looking at the houses, thinking her revenge upon campus inhabitants is fantastical, but palpable.Natalie resists going home for a visit and stays only two nights over the Thanksgiving holiday The reader discovers why in the third and final section Themes found in Jackson s short stories and later novels are also here, including pitting two individuals against the mocking, giggling beasts outside the door and paranoia, which at first seems just part of a game the two are playing.In the foreword of this edition Francine Prose says if she d known of this novel sooner, she would ve taught it in her Strange Books literature class She writes that it shares with the other strange books she taught not only oddity but beauty, originality, a certain visionary intensity, and the ability to make us feel as if we have been invited into a private, very intimate world with striking similarities to our world, whatever that might beShe describes how good a writer Jackson is, stating her sentences are occasionally reminiscent of Henry James Over previous Jackson readings I thought of him but hesitated to go there nice to have the affirmation If you re not a James fan, don t let that put you off It s not that noticeable and I don t mean to overstate it


  8. says:

    PATHETICALLY EXCITED to have this on the Kindle, I have a tattered old paperback with this cover PATHETICALLY EXCITED to have this on the Kindle, I have a tattered old paperback with this cover


  9. says:

    The opening chapter of Hangsaman is a confidence trick Also something that could be said of the book as a whole I wondered, at first, whether it was really for me It seems to be offering a portrait of a middle class American family in typical 1950s suburbia The protagonist is their 17 year old daughter, Natalie, and the lengthy scene depicts the Waites preparing for a garden party While beautifully written, it contains little to intrigue other than Natalie s internal flights of fancy, the The opening chapter of Hangsaman is a confidence trick Also something that could be said of the book as a whole I wondered, at first, whether it was really for me It seems to be offering a portrait of a middle class American family in typical 1950s suburbia The protagonist is their 17 year old daughter, Natalie, and the lengthy scene depicts the Waites preparing for a garden party While beautifully written, it contains little to intrigue other than Natalie s internal flights of fancy, the fictional worlds she places herself in even as she participates in the everyday routines of family life And then, in the last few pages of the chapter, Natalie appears to experience a shocking trauma described, like so many things in the story, indirectly I was wrongfooted and irretrievably hooked.When Natalie goes away to college, she welcomes the promise of reinvention It was, precisely, a new start It doesn t quite unfold as she hopes Natalie struggles to make friends the people she does connect with a strange, delusional girl who knocks on her door at night, the alcoholic young wife of a professor, two girls who are trying to seduce said professor present their own problems Natalie can always retreat to her own sweet dear home of a mind, where she was safe, protected, priceless Yet of course this is also a trap Jackson is, of course, known for her horror fiction in Hangsaman, the biggest thing Natalie has to fear is overthinking Which doesn t make it any less frightening The climax is an ambiguous affair in which I found it difficult to distinguish Natalie s imagination from her reality, and I suppose that s the point It is a mirror to the ending of the first chapter, both scenes taking place in a forest clearing, both demonstrating Jackson s skill in portraying Natalie s fractured identity Uncertainty and precarity haunt this novel I don t think it is meant to be fully understood.TinyLetter


  10. says:

    It occurred to me, back in October, that I probably read a lotmale authors than female not because at least I hope not because I m sexist, but because my culture is and one is nothing if not a product of many crosscurrents of life culture, family, language, education, etc etc So, thanks to Goodreads I was able to chart just exactly how gender skewed my reading is 2012 3 18, 2013 11 45, 2014 9 26, 2015 8 41 Even by consciously choosing those books by females on my to read shelf It occurred to me, back in October, that I probably read a lotmale authors than female not because at least I hope not because I m sexist, but because my culture is and one is nothing if not a product of many crosscurrents of life culture, family, language, education, etc etc So, thanks to Goodreads I was able to chart just exactly how gender skewed my reading is 2012 3 18, 2013 11 45, 2014 9 26, 2015 8 41 Even by consciously choosing those books by females on my to read shelf over the final months of 2016 I only managed to read 11 50 by female authors This is not acceptable, I decided, and it must change So right now 18 of my last 21 books read have been by female authors Many of them have been terrific in fact I see no correlation between gender and aesthetic literary quality at all it s only the bias of the established cannon and my trying to read all of the great books, I suppose, that s unbalanced my reading by gender But I must say, because I m so muchaware of an author s gender at this particular moment, that this is the novel that I was looking for, waiting for.I don t think a man of any gender, really, what I mean to say is someone with a man s experience of the world could have written Hangsaman This is a novel that s genius lies at the heart of female experience I felt privileged to read it and enter into this mysterious world of female adolescence, alienation, imagination coping mechanism and, ultimately, horror No, it s not a Gothic like The Haunting of Hill House but its protagonist s alienation, subtle refusal, which grows into a near abandonment of the world she knows but can only fear for the unknown even suicide is muchterrifying than any ghost story will ever be It really touched a nerve.Amazing and extra chilling here and I think part and parcel of female experience is that Natalie isn t really allowed to have experiences the way men are Man are encouraged to self reflect, to criticize the world, to share their opinion, to feel that they re at the center of the world and to do what they please in answer to it Early on the novel is in three unnumbered sections, rather like a three act play we see Natalie s brother opting out of the patriarchy s cocktail party even condescendingly offering to help Natalie escape with him But, no, like most women, I surmise, Natalie s only validation is through the patriarchy itself, therefore abandoning her father s party would be the only thing worse than the awkwardness of attending it It is awkward She s raped in the end but appears to take it in stride she has no language, apparently, to speak of it except once, later, in passing, as the bad thing We are, as I mentioned above, the product of our culture see early 1950s USA suburban Middle Class rape was not a thing spoken of Natalie tolerates it As her culture tolerates it.the gap between the poetry she wrote and the poetry she contained was, for Natalie, something unsolvable In part two, Natalie goes to college to learn to write speak, but only finds a further segment of her father and lesser than he in a prof who admires her father and appears a much less active teacher than rapist himself well, ok, diddler of students both in the form of having married one and of courting to put it politely, as the novel itself does another on the side At any rate, Natalie s confusion, resentment and interior journey only growandmysterious, awkward and detached Her grammar is corrected, but she s still not given a language with which to speak her loneliness And that sad soliloquy of resentment and displacement is the hardest thing to speak too, even for a man how much worse to be part of a herd of girls being trained by an all male faculty in a college that resembles a military academy, for all of its radically progressive shenanigans No one is even there to listen should Natalie even learn to speak her experience.In this second section mysteries abound there s a thief, there are voices in and out of Natalie s head, there are secret visitors in the dorms at night, un serious initiations, threatening caretakers, there s a mysterious fellow loner girl who may be an imaginary friend or something evenperverse we poor readers will never know the truth of it I bring up the facts of the novel which I normally never do in a review because they re all, to me, replacements for the language Natalie s not learning, at college, to speak The novel is mysterious because, without a proper language to speak it, Natalie s experience becomes this fragmentary series of disjointed mysteries She can t really have experiences in any kind of normalizing narrative way at least not in the male, literary historical sense because she hasn t the proper words with which to re live and recount them.Where is she then, in the novel s third section On a dark and seemingly casually chosen road with a mysterious companion I don t want to spoil the ending but I can t really because it s as ineffable as the rest There s no language to speak Natalie s story in 1951, so it remains untold Hangsaman is the story of its own impossible composition Its message would appear to be give me the words to tell the real story for without them I have no meaning Nathalie s last words in the novel really a feeling rather than a statement might mean that, for a Middle Class woman in the USA in 1951, adulthood meant coming to terms with one s muteness Not only were people of color and gays invisible as Ralph Ellison so eloquently put it but women, too, blended into silently the woodwork all too conveniently.PS I forgot to mention that Shirley Jackson is the greatest composer of sentences in the English language I used to think Hemingway, but Jackson s are just as brilliant and a tad less showy remarkably beautiful, her sentences have the feel of a diamond cutting through glass with a clarity I thought impossible in English I m humbled