Presentation on theme: "EWC4U: What I’m Reading. published 1995 by the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day described by critics as “almost indecipherable” and."— Presentation transcript:
published 1995 by the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day described by critics as “almost indecipherable” and as having “invented its own category of badness”
I found myself recalling quite vividly a certain occasion when I had been sitting in an uncomfortable armchair… For some time I had gone on reading my newspaper on the uncomfortable armchair, until something about Boris – some subtle change in his demeanour or his posture – had made me glance down at him. Then in an instant I had seen the situation before me. Boris had managed to draw on his sheet a perfectly recognisable ‘Superman’. He had been attempting to do just such a thing for weeks, but for all our encouragement had been unable to produce even a vague likeness. But now, perhaps owing to that mixture of fluke and genuine breakthrough so often experienced in childhood, he had suddenly succeeded. The sketch was not quite finished – the mouth and eyes needed completing – but for all that I had been able to see at once the huge triumph it represented for him. In fact I would have said something to him had I not noticed at that moment the way he was leaning forward in a state of great tension, his crayon held over the paper. He was, I realised, hesitating whether to go on to refine his drawing at the risk of ruining it. I had been able to sense acutely his dilemma and had felt a temptation to say out loud: ‘Boris, stop. That’s enough. Stop there and show everyone what you’ve achieved. Show me, then show your mother, and then all those people talking now in the next room. What does it matter if it’s not completely finished? Everyone will be astonished and so proud of you. Stop now before you lose it all.’ But I had not said anything, continuing instead to watch him from around the edge of the newspaper. Finally Boris had made up his mind and begun to apply a few more touches with great care. Then, growing more confident, he had bent right forward and started to use the crayon with some recklessness. A moment later he had stopped abruptly, staring silently at his sheet. Then – and I could even now recall the anguish mounting within me – I had watched him attempting to salvage his picture, applying more and more crayon. Finally his face had fallen and, dropping the crayon onto the paper, he had risen and left the room without a word.