03 January 2015

Marcel Proust writes an action thriller

There came a shot, or rather the memory of the sound made by the metal tapping of the striker as it was released from tension by the action of the trigger, and driven into the rear end of the cartridge, causing the ejection of the bullet from the barrel and the empty casing from the breach, while the trace of cordite lingered like the smell of my grandmother's fresh baked bread of a Sunday morning before Mass, and the sensation of the trembling recoil of the stock on the skin of my palm recalled my mother's transient good night kiss, so what had started as an act of violence offered in the shallow flux of present time, devoid of memory and its handmaid, the imagination, became with the reverberation of the sound about the station platform an unexpected gateway into permanence, where, like the church bells that signalled the approach of old Francois with a pail of fresh milk from the village dairy, the echo of the brief explosion reverberated in the gulf of time past, and what had been manipulated by the violent hands of the present, as intended termination of a human life, became in the sudden clasp of involuntary memory the means by which the moment was transfigured as that in which a shot rang, with whatsoever repercussions, out.

- as imagined by Sebastian Faulks, The Write Stuff, BBC Radio 4, 19 October 2010
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