They were shadowy figures with a pungent smell of electricity, a sensed presence, but no one there. Odd to identify the smell of a seizure with electricity, which is odourless, but apt for an electrical storm in the brain.
The ethereal visitors are part of the epileptic aura, a state of altered awareness that serves to forewarn of an approaching seizure. It also has another, more visceral, feature. Naomi says it feels like a sparrow fluttering its wings in the pit of her stomach. The bird ascends to her throat, becomes trapped, and struggles to escape. Up to this point, under the gathering gloom of the brainstorm, in the company of the empty shadows and the sparrow, she is fully conscious and can articulate her experiences. Then the storm breaks and she is swept beyond reflection.
Paul Broks, Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology (2003)
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The problem lies not in the nature of man but in the nature of power.
We are no longer in the forest but in an enclosed garden surrounded by a stone wall and the trees are different trees. I do not know them. There are steps leading upwards. It is too dark to see the wall or the steps, but I know they are there and I think, ‘It will be when I go up these steps. At the top.’ I stumble over my dress and cannot get up. I touch a tree and my arms hold on to it. ‘Here, here.’ But I think I will not go any further.
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
English language and literature, University of South Carolina
"Literally" speaking: Youth language, prescriptivism, and ideology
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I stand there. Eyes mist to the wind feel the fresh rush past. Up my nose. That sting. That new day it’s so early in the morning. I see the white and clear. Rising up of the waters. Running round my feet. My gravel feet. My earthbound feet that feel the sway of it. Water. Of the world that’s changing now no changed. It’s changed and this is looking back. The past a flash front.
Eimear McBride, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing (2013)
Henri Rousseau, View of the Ile Saint-Louis seen from Port Saint-Nicolas, 1888. Oil on canvas, 46 × 55 cm.
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