Great Moments in Literature

“Also other things, material and immaterial: the relentless glare of OR lights; white shoes squeaking over white floors; a housefly contaminating gauze; and all around me, up and down the halls of Women’s Hospital, individual dramas under way. I could sense the happiness of couples holding first babies and the fortitude of Catholics accepting their ninth. I could feel one young mother’s disappointment at the reappearance of her husband’s weak chin on the face of her newborn daughter, and a new father’s terror as he calculated the tuition for triplets. On the floors above Delivery, in flowerless rooms, women lay recovering from hysterectomies and mastectomies. Teenage girls with burst ovarian cysts nodded out on morphine. It was all around me from the beginning, the weight of female suffering, with its biblical justification and vanishing acts.”

                     --Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex, 2002

“AND SO HE LUMBERS ON — FOLLOWING THE TRACKS OF A RUSTY ORE CAR DEEP INTO THE CLUTCHING DARKNESS — UNTIL THE TRACKS ABRUPTLY END — AND THERE IS NOTHING FOR HIM TO FOLLOW — SAVE AN INNER VOICE THAT DRAWS HIM ONWARD — ONWARD INTO THE TUNNEL’S DARKEST RECESSES — AND THE RIM OF AN UNNATURAL PIT — for He has called and, at last, He has been answered…and having been answered, He is satisfiedmost satisfied…for He is M’Nagalah…and he lives…Dear, dear God in Heaven…He LIVES!!!

                     --Len Wein, SWAMP THING, Vol. 3, No. 8, 
                            "The Lurker in Tunnel 13!," 1974

(Posted simultaneously to “Jelly-Town!”)

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