Once swallowed, the piece of paper lodges in her oesophagus near her heart. Saliva-soaked. The specially prepared black ink dissolves slowly now, the letters losing their shapes. Within the human body, the word splits in two: substance and essence. When the former goes, the latter, formlessly abiding, may be absorbed into the body’s tissues, since essences always seek carriers in matter – even if this is to be the cause of many misfortunes.
THE BOOKS OF JACOB, Olga Tokarczuk trans. Jennifer Croft. And this is the first paragraph of the book. An utterly astonishing way to start a novel. Put the bar waaaaay up high there right at the start of a thousand-page novel. Damn.