Winter’s Tale

Snow in Central Park, December 27, 2010

Snow in Central Park, December 27, 2010


Manolo says, perhaps now would be the good time to re-read one of the Manolo’s favorite books, Winter’s Tale by the Mark Helprin…

“Winter then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees. It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run. And what it did to Northern forests can hardly be described, considering that it iced the branches of the sycamores on Chrystie Street and swept them back and forth until they rang like ranks of bells.”

6 Responses to “Winter’s Tale”

  1. JPeep December 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Winter’s Tale is also one of the Jennifer’s favorite books, one that is read and reread about every two years. The Jennifer makes movies (sometimes out of books) but loves best of all the books that completely defy any ability to simplify and adapt them for the cinema.

    When the Jennifer was 16 and first encountered this work, it was not at first clear that it was an argument for conservative values – perhaps the most eloquent and beautiful argument for those values ever created – by the speechwriter of the President Ronald Reagan. While at 36 the Jennifer chooses to support things like a safety net for the poor in her grown-up politics, the beauty and audacity of this work of art is in no way diminished. It’s rare that a work first encountered at 16 can still burn so bright 20 years later.

    Best wishes to the Manolo for a happy New Year, full of reading of transcendent and improving works.

  2. Lisa from SoCal December 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    A wonderful book–should be more well-known than it is.

  3. beth December 27, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    I love this book so much! And it’s all thanks to the Manolo.

    Long ago, you highly recommended Freddy and Fredericka, so I bought it, read it, and fell head over heels into obsessive love with Mark Helprin’s writing. Winter’s Tale was the second book I read, and it captured me completely. JPeep, I am the most liberal of liberals, but there is something in the beauty of Helprin’s work that transcends. Have you read the short story “Monday,” from the book of short stories _The Pacific_? It made me cry.

    Thank you for introducing me to Mark Helprin, Sr. Manolo. It was a gift.

    • JPeep December 28, 2010 at 12:31 am #

      Beth, I agree – his work is beautiful! I’m pretty sure I’ve read that short story collection. Have you read Memoirs from an Antproof Case or A Soldier of the Great War? I’ve never re-read them the way I re-read Winter’s Tale, but they were very enjoyable.

      • beth December 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

        Oh my gosh, I have them ALL! Thumbed and marked and bent and broken and loved.

        • JPeep December 28, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

          The Beth is clearly a person of excellent literary taste!