Martin is truly a terrifying name to run into.
A quick bit about the last 20 pages. It’s that ramble of philosophy that pulls away the meat of a narrative, leaving the bone of an intention, even if its a meditation on the ambiguity of the human. Tartt refreshes with a Xandra call or proper noun, but it’s Theo’s thoughts pouring out, and made of special note to be written words, moving him from a third-person narrator into an authorship, referring to his scribbles and diving down into them, cf. Hobbie’s tips. I’m reminded of Galapagos and the ghostly Trout-son writing his words in the air. I think it’s that Vonnegut anyway. It’s also the art lesson cram, the mediation on the painting itself saved for the last bits, with only the rigor of craft for the furniture and parting (literally?) words from dear old mom. I’m also reminded of the final page of Adam Cadre’s Ready? Okay! and the narrator revealing his mirror memory, capturing ever detail down, with the accuracy of a photo, but the coloring is all words. Timber the timbre.
Let’s look as some words. I know I forgot to mark the chocolate one. Started with G.
p. 17 “I stared out the window at the dyspeptic workaday faces (worried-looking people in raincoats, milling in grim throngs at the crosswalks, people drinking coffee from cardboard cups and talking on cell phones and glancing furtively side to side) and tried to hard not to think of all the unpleasant fares that might be about to befall me: some of them involving juvenile court, or jail.”
dyspeptic: a person suffering from indigestion or irritability. Pepcid! It’s in a Bradbury short it seems, and in CGW 73’s take on Waterloo. Good for Napoleon I guess?
p.52 “In all the welter, nobody noticed me.”
welter: writhe, toss. to be in turmoil, sunk, soaked. a state of wild disorder, a chaotic mass or jumble. Take that GSP.
p. 427 “I knew how to draw people’s attention to the extraordinary points of a piece, the hand-cut veneer, the fine patination, the honorable scars, drawing a finger down an exquisite cyma curve (which Hogarth himself called ‘the line of beauty’) in order to lead the eye away from reworked bits in back, where in a strong light they might find the grain didn’t precisely match.”
cyma: a projecting molding whose profile is an S-shaped curve, sometimes formed by union of a concave line and convex line. Tiny word for such a specific thing!
p. 723 “And yet there are also half-transparent passages rendered so lovingly alongside the bold, pastose strokes that there’s tenderness in the contrast, and even humor.”
pastose: painted thickly : covered or filled with paint. That one wasn’t in the regular dict. or my oed.