Fiction

Excerpt from To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

:: Harper Lee

When Atticus looked down at me I saw the expression on his face
that always made me expect something. “Do you know what a compromise is?”
he asked.

“Bending the law?”

“No, an agreement reached by mutual concessions. It works this
way,” he said. “If you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll
go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?”

“Yes sir!”

“We’ll consider it sealed without the usual formality,”  Atticus
said, when he saw me preparing to spit.

As I opened the front screen door Atticus said, “By the way,
Scout, you’d better not say anything at school about our agreement.”

“Why not?”

“I’m afraid our activities would be received with considerable
disapprobation by the more learned authorities.”

Jem and I were accustomed to our father’s last-will-and-testament
diction, and we were at all times free to interrupt Atticus for a
translation when it was beyond our understanding.

“Huh, sir?”

“I never went to school,” he said, “but I have a feeling that if
you tell Miss Caroline we read every night she’ll get after me, and I
wouldn’t want her after me.”

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Fiction

Excerpt from The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac

The Dharma Bums:: Jack Kerouac

Throughout all these parties I always stole off for a nap under the eucalyptus trees, instead of my rosebush, which was all hot sun all day; in the shade of the trees I rested well. One afternoon as I just gazed at the topmost branches of those immensely tall trees I began to notice that the uppermost twigs and leaves were lyrical happy dancers glad that they had been apportioned the top, with all that rumbling experience of the whole tree swaying beneath them making their dance, their every jiggle, a huge and communal and mysterious necessity dance, and so just floating up there in the void dancing the meaning of the tree. I noticed how the leaves almost looked human the way they bowed and then leaped up and then swayed lyrically side to side. It was a crazy vision in my mind but beautiful. Another time under those trees, I dreamt I saw a purple throne all covered with gold…

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