Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.
Around me all colors are extinguished. It is frightening. The place of the damned must be this colorless. A glowing, fiery hell would still be beautiful! And since all that is beautiful confers happiness and blesses, a flaming hell would be no punishment—only the gray, grazy, gray which is part of the endless monotony and wilderness is the true, terrible punishment.
Some people would like you to believe that a book consists of relationships between words, but that’s not true: It is in fact about relationships between people.
Enjoy 600 pages of small-town intrigue, Russian-doll narrative, backwards chapters and a story that has such a twist I almost called in dead to work so I could stay home and finish it.
… to read, we need a certain kind of silence, an ability to filter out the noise. That seems increasingly elusive in our overnetworked society, where every buzz and rumor is instantly blogged and tweeted, and it is not contemplation we desire but an odd sort of distraction, distraction masquerading as being in the know. In such a landscape, knowledge can’t help but fall prey to illusion, albeit an illusion that is deeply seductive, with its promise that speed can lead us to more illumination, that it is more important to react than to think deeply, that something must be attached to every bit of time. Here, we have my reading problem in a nutshell, for books insist we take the opposite position, that we immerse, slow down.
Mount Stuart House, Isle of Bute, Scotland
Our educational system is almost designed to foster a fixed mind-set. Think about how a typical English class works: You read a “great work” by a famous author, discussing what the messages are, and how the author uses language, structure, and imagery to convey them. You memorize particularly pithy quotes to be regurgitated on the exam, and perhaps later on second dates. Students are rarely encouraged to peek at early drafts of those works. All they see is the final product, lovingly polished by both writer and editor to a very high shine. When the teacher asks “What is the author saying here?” no one ever suggests that the answer might be “He didn’t quite know” or “That sentence was part of a key scene in an earlier draft, and he forgot to take it out in revision.”
I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.