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Friday, February 22, 2008

Textual Inspiration #2

...we therefore commit their bodies to the deep.

It would rear up howling and hissing, ice like marzipan on the forward deck, the bows plunging and whacking, so it seemed you didn't need another enemy to fire off shells and torpedoes at you, the sea was enough. Or it would stretch out broad and big and quiet as moonlit night up above, the convoy spread like ducks on a lake. Floating coffins. Which was worse, a calm or an angry sea? Or you wouldn't see it, only feel it, through the swing and judder of steel. You joined the Navy to see the sea but what you saw were the giddy innards of a ship, and what you smelt wasn't the salt sea air but the smell of a ship's queasy stomach, oil and balaclavas and ether and rum and cordite and vomit, as if you were already there, where you might be, any moment, for ever, in the great heaving guts of the oggin.
- From Last Orders by Graham Swift

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