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Picturing a World

Out a train window

I came across Springtime while tracing the route between Dieppe and Paris. It showed me what Jeanette might see from her train window. The speed of train travel made the countryside seem to unroll continuously outside the frame of a window. Moreover, railway beds serve only to carry trains, and scrub brush along their banks can screen the view for miles. Monet’s sketchy, broken brush strokes allowed me to catch a glimpse of a half-seen house with an orange roof and imagine Jeanette’s seeing it for an instant. In words, all that remains of that moment is the phrase “red-twigged coppices on riverbanks” on p. 66, but, believe me, she saw the house!
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