The next scene is yellow and cold and on the soundtrack birds beat their wings. (He says: I’m a cage—it’s a private joke—then he buys cigarettes and walks away from the camera).

Roberto Bolaño, Antwerp, 2002

(translated by Natasha Wimmer, 2010)

The light had been there all the time; but she had known it only at moments. Now she knew what she wanted. Bright mornings, beautiful bright rooms, a wilderness of beauty all around her all the time—at any cost.

Dorothy Richardson, Honeycomb, 1917

For a second, the hawk’s wings danced in pursuit, flicking lithe and high in a cluster of frenzied beats that freeze in memory to the shape of antlers.

J. A. Baker, The Peregrine, 1967

One cannot sing just to please someone, however much one loves them, no, song must come from the heart, that is what I always say, pour out from the inmost, like a thrush. [Pause.] How often I have said, in evil hours, Sing now, Winnie, sing your song, there is nothing else for it, and did not. [Pause.] Could not.

Samuel Beckett, Happy Days, 1961

The staircase was cold and airy. Cold rooms and landings stretched up away above her into the darkness. She became aware of a curious buoyancy rising within her. It was so strange that she stood still for a moment on the stair. For a second, life seemed to cease in her and the staircase to be swept from under her feet. . . . ‘I’m alive.’ . . . It was as if something had struck her, struck right through her impalpable body, sweeping it away, leaving her there shouting silently without it. I’m alive. . . . I’m alive.

Dorothy Richardson, Backwater, 1916.

Eagle the eye that shall discern him now mingled with the ruins mingling with the dust beneath a sky forsaken of its scavengers.

Samuel Beckett, For To End Yet Again, 1976