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This article is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

Haitch: an attempt to blanch a blush Raymond Tallis

As in looking at a carpet, by following one colour a certain pattern is suggested, by following another colour, another; so in life the seer should watch the pattern among general things which his idiosyncrasy moves him to observe, and describe that alone.
                        Thomas Hardy

To become red in the face (usually from shame or modesty). Five letters.
                        Quick Crossword

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                        Traditional


The Occasion

The 'haitch', reverberating in your immediate memory, ignited a blush that spread to the roots of your hair. You squirmed, sweated, sat puddled in shame. Nobody noticeably noticed; from which you inferred that everyone did.

How can I help you? My natural instinct is to shrink the small accident of your embarrassment by locating it on a larger canvas - the greater accidents of History, of Prehistory, and of Evolution - until pinkness fades in a widening astonishment, like the focal crimson of dawn in the edgeless hours of daylight. Since a natural instinct is one that naturals like me naturally give way to, I shall therefore play Goethe's Epimetheus - one who 'traces the quick instant to the dim realm of form-combining possibilities'; remind you of the remote aquafers of consciousness from which your blush ultimately draws its pinkness; drill to the antique darkness where it has its roots.

Getting to the root of that blush means climbing down many storeys and telling many stories. There are ...


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