When certain words touch you, because they’re just so right, as approximately right as anyone can be about things like these. More from The New York Stories of Elizabeth Hardwick, more from my favorite story of the collection, “The Oak and the Axe,” more from Henry Dean, more on that thing we have many names for and none of them right:
Truth, courage, and despair, in a desolate quality, were the attributes of his discourse. He said that when he was twenty-eight a kind of darkness had fallen upon him, a thing without apparent cause of definition, but the most real and painful experience of his life. “It is still there, now a thick fog, and again only a light mist.” He could not recover his old energy and happiness, his ambition. He just went on from day to day, enduring his cramped and knotted existence, heavy with a sort of temperamental fatigue and indolence, which were no his, just as his rather dimly lighted gray eyes were his.