I discovered a new theme to play along with. It is called Feature and Follow Friday. Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.
Today’s question is:
Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?
Two thoughts come to mind.
The first scene that came to me is from Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being. This was the first of Kundera’s novels that I read and I must have been about 23 years old. This one passage struck me and made me want to read everything else Kundera had written:
A year or two after emigrating, she happened to be in Paris on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of her country. A protest march had been scheduled, and she felt driven to take part. Fists raised high, the young Frenchmen shouted out slogans condemning Soviet imperialism. She liked the slogans, but to her surprise she found herself unable to shout along with them. She lasted no more than a few minutes in the parade.
When she told her French friends about it, they were amazed. “You mean you don’t want to fight the occupation of your country?” She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, behind Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and that the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting identical syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand.
This was the first scene that came to mind. The second thought that came to me was the holocaust novel Night by Elie Wiesel. The whole book is harrowing and moving and I couldn’t pick out a particular scene, but here is a passage:
Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky.
Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever.
Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget those things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God himself. Never.