Peter Lake’s New Year

Contradictions, paradoxes, and strong waves of feeling were things that Peter Lake had long before learned to call his own, so he was not surprised to be surprised by the gentleness of Mouquin’s usually boisterous New Year’s Eve….it had been the same when the century had turned, when the celebrants had been unable to celebrate and could only stand in awe of history as it moved its massive weight…like the vault door of a central bank….despite a thousand bottles of champagne and a hundred years of anticipation, Mouquin’s had been as quiet as a church on the Fourth of July. Women had wept, and men had found it hard to hold back the tears. As the clockwork of the millennia moved a notch in front of their eyes, it had taken their thoughts from small things and reminded them of how vulnerable they were to time.     Winter’s Tale, by Mark Helprin

A friend reads this passage every New Year’s Eve.

Sometimes I think I moved upstate from New York City because I was looking for Lake of the Coheeries.

Winter deer
New Year visitors

Quote from Winter’s Tale, Mark Helprin, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York: 1983.

13 thoughts on “Peter Lake’s New Year”

  1. Winter’s Tale is easily one of my favorite novels, but I hadn’t read it in many years. I dug out my original copy recently when I heard about the film being made of it. I discovered your site when I decided to see if there really IS a town called Lake of the Coheeries – a girl can dream, can’t she?

  2. Hi Valorie,

    Happy New Year to you. May 2013 be a year of success, love, and happiness for you. 🙂

    Thank you for keep following my blog. I hope my blog posts do not disappoint. My subscription went messed up, so now I am resubscribing.

    Take care, many blessings and much love to you. 🙂

    Subhan Zein

  3. What lovely visitors you have!
    And then I freely associated with A Winter’s Tale by the man with the shakey speare.
    Hello. Followed your tracks from Flandrum Hill’s Eagle post this morning.

    1. I love Flandrum Hill. Sometimes I choose to read books based on what I’m writing myself at the moment – for research/information purposes, or it’s a genre or form or way to tackle a subject matter I want to emulate. Sometimes it’s just because I’ve read a great review or a description of the book that draws me in.

  4. Winter’s Tale also came to mind while I was viewing the George Bellows exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bellows was prolific from about 1910 -1925 when he died at the age of 42 from a ruptured appendix. He painted boxing matches full of light and shadows and tremendous energy. But Peter Lake and Athansor appeared in the paintings of NYC’s waterfronts – especially Snow Dumpers when the city had so much snow the horses would pull carts to the river’s edge to dump snow. There was a white horse in this painting and I knew it was Athansor.

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