Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening…Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.
More and more I found myself at a loss for words and didn’t want to hear other people talking either. Their conversations seemed false and empty. I preferred to look at the sea, which said nothing and never made you feel alone.
John Callcott Horsley
"A Pleasant Corner"
Feast your eyes on the elegant grandeur of the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura (known in English as the Royal Portuguese Reading Room or the Royal Cabinet), a 19th-century library in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Constructed from 1880 to 1887 under the direction of architect Rafael da Silva e Castro, the magnificent library has the distinction of holding the largest and most valuable collection of Portuguese works outside of Portugal, with over 350,000 volumes filling its countless bookshelves.
June Book Photo Challenge I Day 4. I Friendship
Harry Potter. I’ve read it in paperback, hardback, eBook, and even the American editions, but now I’m reading Harry Potter in French. Later this year, I’m hoping to visit one of my best friends in France, and I want to improve my grasp of the language.
And while we’re on the subject, I’d like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it’s a bad thing. As if “escapist” fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.
If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn’t you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.
As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.
For all is like an ocean, all flows and connects; touch it in one place and it echoes at the other end of the world.