I open China Miéville’s The City and The City with every intention of enjoying it. The first two sentences read:
“I could not see the street or much of the estate. We were enclosed by dirt-coloured blocks, from windows out of which leaned vested men and women with morning hair and mugs of drink, eating breakfast and watching us.”
Can someone parse that second sentence for me? Am I wrong in seeing that “from” as untenable? I ask Z, who says, “he doesn’t know how to put the windows in the blocks.” I agree, and I’m also sensing other, more grammatical clumsinesses. Can I trust Miéville enough to proceed?
June is the only month in which the weather in Southern California is identical with the weather in Southern Ontario: temperatures in the low seventies and grey skies. This is the first year I have flown home so late, the first year I have spent so much of June in California. I thus discovered “June gloom” for the first time – day after day of overcast skies in the land of sun. But I also discovered the jacaranda trees. To my mind, the two things go together. Could these amazing trees, these trees so beautiful they are almost tacky, show off as well in sunshine? I think the way their leafless purple glows as if to stand for the nostalgic distance itself could happen only against a background of grey haze.