Why i love Charles Morgan
“He lifted his hands to his face and, finding that they were not rid of the smell of paint, began to wave them in the air. This producing no effect. he fetched two handfuls of pine-needles, returned to his bench and rubbed them slowly between his palms until all were fallen. After that, he drew his feet up under him, and, having smelt his hands again, wrinkled his nose and gave up his attempt.
“His brown hair threw out, here and there, upward twirls of no great dignity, and his face – a blunt-angled face that retained the chunkiness of a boy’s – was almost as brown as the hair. The warmth of its colour gave a special emphasis to eyes not brown but blue and far-looking, with a steady liveliness of their own – the eyes of a northern seaman who surprisingly inhabited the body of a brown bear.
“After a little while, he pulled his shirt away from his ribs and wriggled himself that the air might move across his flesh ; he revolved his arms slowly with the same purpose ; he sniffed the pine-trees. There couldn’t be a better evening, he said to himself, and was grateful, and still.”
– from Chapter 1 of The Voyage (1940), (page 15 of the Reprint Society’s 1942 edition)
The Voyage, so far, is set in the vineyards of France’s Charente region. So far i’m only up to page 17 so don’t tell me what happens! I read Morgan’s The Empty Room years ago, and all i remember of it is the atmosphere. This extract exhales the same atmosphere.