Ten of the best ice-skating episodes in literature | Books | The Guardian

Top ten iceskaters books

La Gerusalemme Liberata by Torquato Tasso

The pleasures of skating had been properly sufficient identified within the sixteenth century for this Italian epic poet to make use of it as an analogy for an outdated sage with magical powers who seems to stroll on water – “As o’er the Rhine, when winter its broad tide / Has in easy chains of strong silver sure, / The village women in crowds securely glide, / With lengthy swift strokes, in lots of a playful spherical.”

The Prelude by William Wordsworth

Wordsworth recollects the winter video games of his childhood among the many lakes, and recaptures the intoxicating sense of velocity: “After we had given our our bodies to the wind, / And all of the shadowy banks on both aspect / Got here sweeping via the darkness, spinning nonetheless / The fast line of movement”.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

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The Pickwickians take to the ice with various levels of ability. Bob Sawyer “described circles together with his left leg, and minimize figures of eight, and inscribed upon the ice . . . an excellent many different nice and astonishing gadgets”. Sport is interrupted when Pickwick himself disappears via the ice, however he’s rescued and scorching punch is run.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Levin goes to the skating floor within the hope of discovering Kitty. He’s a bundle of nerves and watches as “All of the skaters, it appeared, with excellent self-possession, skated in the direction of her, skated by her, even spoke to her.” However then . . . “Placed on skates, and allow us to skate collectively,” says the stunning Kitty. “They set off aspect by aspect, going sooner and sooner, and the extra quickly they moved the extra tightly she grasped his hand.” Ecstasy!

White Boots by Noel Streatfeild

Courageous, impecunious Harriet takes up skating and meets ice champion Lala Moore, whose mother and father had been well-known skaters who died after falling via the ice on a pond. Harriet turns into good, and Lala is seized by jealousy. Ultimately, friendship prevails and Harriet will get tremendous white skating boots from Lala for her birthday.

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“Skating” by EE Cummings

Cummings’s celebration of winter has just one factor in thoughts because the season’s singular pleasure. “Gleam of ice, and glint of metal, / Jolly, snappy climate; / Glide on ice and pleasure of zeal, / All, alone, collectively.”

Oh What a Paradise It Appears by John Cheever

In Cheever’s novella Lemuel Sears leaves town to go skating on Beasley’s Pond. His enjoyment of nature and his pleasure in his personal physique are reawakened by skating, which has “the depth of an historical expertise”. However the native mafia will flip the pond right into a dump.

“Lady Skating” by Margaret Atwood

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Atwood makes a spinning skater an enactment of some miraculous human conquer time. The poet’s personal parenthesis tells us that this girl, “jacket sudden / purple towards the white, // concentrating on transferring / in excellent circles”, is in reality her mom, remembered on an outside city rink.

The Skating Occasion by Marina Warner

A bunch of family and friends skate down a frozen river within the Fens – an ideal event for cold intellectuals. The bliss of icy velocity releases all of the latent tensions, as we discover out in regards to the misdeeds of anthropologist Michael Lovage and the pissed off ambitions of his spouse, Viola.

Ingenious Ache by Andrew Miller

James Dyer, 18th-century protagonist of Miller’s novel, can not really feel ache. Supposedly, his character has been shaped by his conception. His mom went out skating on a frozen river at evening and there had intercourse with a stranger. Naturally, the son born of this chilly coupling would have all his emotions frozen.


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