Never Mind All of That

The previous post now seems premature. Sitting here at work I was just visited by the ghosts of beloved books past. I was listening to an npr recording of an interview with Edward Mendelson on his book Seven Novels and Why They Matter (haven't read this but am now going to).

During the interview they read a passage from Woolf's Between the Acts, that brilliant passage where she describes the toad-choked snake--the "birth the wrong way round--a monstrous inversion."

There are so many memories of reading moments--the moments when words on a page become so much more, when you feel that grip on the heart and a resonance in the mind--as if somehow, mysteriously, a group of words written in fire and gold have been found interleaved in your own oft-dull mind.

I remembered beautiful passages written by A.S. Byatt, the description of the color of a plum or the shore with the Van Gogh boats and burning salt-sand. And then I remembered the wind and rain in the Brontes, and how much I learned as I read through all of their books, Anne, Emily, and my beloved Charlotte. And Dylan Thomas and Hemingway and Flaubert. And rediscovering poetry.

For me, it's the words that matter, the words and their ability to invigorate. Its just a question if they're enough.