Friday, November 11, 2011

Literature in Review

The beautiful thing about literature is all of the places that it takes you. Whenever I walk into a bookstore, I feel like I'm at an airport. You get to choose where you want to go. Perusing the aisles and looking at all of the pretty/interesting book covers, feeling their jackets, flipping through the pages-it is all of the fun in it! I've walked through the damp streets of London, lived out of a hut in the Congo, been an albino hunchback circus-mutant and a wandering Japanese poet all without ever having to leave my own home.

The ability of literature to transform us is profound. I can remember the overall feeling of reading The Idiot, or Oliver Twist and I get nostalgic. Dickens' ability to capture certain dialects amazed me. "Cub id, sir, Cub id" (a nasally "Come in, sir, Come in.") when I say it aloud it amazes me. And now I have all of these characters running loose in my head. Each one of them has shaped me into the person that I am today. Reading a good book is like making a good friend and whenever you hear that name you will smile inwardly and remember that feeling. When I finished Hunter S. Thompson's Kingdom of Fear, the last sentence made me smile for a week straight. When I read A Farewell to Arms nearly a decade ago, I didn't want to talk to anyone for the rest of the day. Woody Guthrie's autobiography made me feel like a child. Diane di Prima's Recollections of My Life as a Woman enveloped me for days. There are so many things that you can do with books. You can keep them on your shelf to remind you of a time. You can stack them and use them as a table. You can read them! You can ask a question and flip open to a random page (a fun game I like to play). You can eat oatmeal with them.

What will you do? Where will you go?

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