Thursday, October 17, 2013
The crudeness of "due for my ticket" compared to "punctiliously observed" is like the shove of the elbow compared to the peacefulness of the elbow at rest in polite society where resentment would seethe quietly or stifle itself humourously and not make a circular jerk.
"Punctiliously observed" making a little gap between herself and those characters. She is looking at them.
Caroline Leakey by the end of the paragraph is inhabiting the shove and the shove gets inside the language: it is the language, it is shove-language created by the person who is making the shove, who is not Caroline Leakey.
That indignation is the indignation of Tammy, not the indignation of the author (who is not due for her ticket): the contamination of the convict settlement has reached out over the years and it has come into Caroline Leakey. She will keep it, she will have it, she will melt and run; she will accept the words of that other class that is not the author-class; she will not be an author for a moment, she will not have that authority of removed language, she will melt and dissolve into the non-author classes. (I do not mean social classes.) Where is she now, what is she when she writes due for her ticket, what hybrid, what minotaur, what centaur, what animal or transmigration?
The shape of the language in the paragraph is the shape of the character's vanity: a big front ("punctiliously observed") with a small fear behind. Like a cartoon bulldog it has large shoulders and tiny hips and that is the way the language moves, from big to small.