A Mitzvah for a Blogger Friend in Need


I have not posted memes or quiz answers in a very long time, and have no intention of resuming after this post. However, because Enbretheliel asks so nicely and is in need of our prayers and good wishes and acts, I offer this small mitzvah--an answer to her tag:

1. Do you associate reading particular books with the places you read them or events of the time you read them?

Unfortunately, in one case, quite vividly. I think I was reading Stephen King's Four Past Midnight or a collection of his short stories--I know it by looking at the cover, when my mother died. I never finished the book.

On a happier note, but a sadder book, I read Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner on a flight home from Sacramento California.

Similarly, I finished my most recent read of The Sound and the Fury on a flight back from Boston.

2. Do you remember the books you read or do they fade quickly? Or do you remember some better than others? How about remembering details like character names, not just overall plot?

Some books remain with me and pluck at me. Chief among those are Henry James's The Golden Bowl, which struck me as a very odd predecessor to the absurdist dramas of Samuel Beckett. It seemed to me that throughout this entire book there were four or five disembodied heads that swirled around making life miserable for one another.

Tom Sawyer is another. I think of Aunt Polly looking over her glasses and under her glasses, but never through her glasses for so small a thing as a boy.

Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance haunts all of my reading--most particularly the hair collector and the beggar-maker.

As a general rule, however, I forget most of a book and retain a sense of it or a scene or two. For example, I remember very clearly the climactic scene from Silence by Shusaku Endo. Same with near the end of The Violent Bear it Away, l was stunned by Flannery's venturing into the world she did.

But I've gone on too long. Suffice to say that some books, stylistically or incidentally remain firmly in mind, while other evaporate out of my head almost immediately.

3. Have you ever forgotten you've read/own a book and borrowed/bought it again?

All the time, particularly with unmemorable books that sound as though they ought to be memorable.

Not that I remember, if you don't mind such a perversely ironic answer.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on April 15, 2008 10:56 AM.

The Wacky World of Henry James was the previous entry in this blog.

"Last Night I Dreamt I went to Manderley Again. . ." is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll