Wednesday, September 01, 2010
My Life In Books.
I've been reading since I was four. Voraciously. Throughout the sometimes tumultuous railroad of my life, books have been lovers, friends, companions, incurring inspiration, frustration, contempt and disbelief. But most of all, offering me an escape to an alternative universe.
I've always had a few books on the go. Sometimes too many and that doesn't work. Three is a goodly number.
A few are well-loved old companions. Read, and re-read. Lent out. Don't come back. Re-purchased. Loved up again.
One of these is Ernest Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast."
Sometimes one can't explain the hook, the addiction, to a movie or a book.
I just can't articulate why this book has consistently grabbed me since I was in my early twenties and it was first published. One of the highlights of my life was being inside the room where he wrote it, summarizing a lot of his diary entries of his early Paris years. He lays it all out here: his poverty, his moments of mad love and despair, his catty resentment of James Joyce, his love/hate relationship with Gertrude Stein, his solitary walks around Paris, his cold water flat sans even a toilet.
He takes me with him through his writer's block, his casually succint observations of strangers, his meals, his fishing and his visits to Shakespeare and Company. I inhale yet again his advice to himself about always leaving the writing when you're flushed with your own inspiration and going back at it again much later when the rush has percolated throughout your body overnight.
I want the pleasure of his company - warts and all - to go on and on and on.