We, humans, see human-like activity everywhere and it makes life all the more agreeable.
Be it the solution that jumped out at you, the chocolate ice-cream that calls your name every time you pass the fridge, or the red spots that dance on your eyelids if you close your eyes after staring at the sun. And those are just the terms that have crept into everyday language. Of course, there are also the poetic varieties, like:
- T. S. Eliot’s restless nights and The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock),
- Roger McGough’s Something freshly slaughtered / Dragged itself into the hall (There was Knock on the Door. It Was the Meat.),
- e e cummings’s fragment of angry candy (the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls).
Here’s John Banville, in Mefisto, giving a living room description. The shutters are down; outside is a sunlit afternoon.
Quote: Sophie opened the shutters. The room greeted the sudden glare with a soundless exclamation of surprise. An armchair leaned back, its armrests braced, in an attitude of startlement and awe.
What makes the Quote quiver?
The room, the armchair as living beings.