There are many reasons why I love books and reading , and I do think I have shared many with you. Let me advance another, one perhaps I have not furnished so far. It is the curious correspondence that the content sometimes has with our lives, or in simpler terms, how we read something and feel it mirrors what is happening with us, or vice versa. Mostly it happens when we re-read something, for when we do, we do not found anything more in the book, but we find something more in us….
Well, to come from the general to the specific, as is generally my habit, let me share a passage from The Track of Sand, the latest Montalbano book which I managed to order from an online book supply service, and the day I received it, eagerly counted the hours till I would be home and reading it. (For those unfamiliar with the name, the Sicilian and quite idiosyncratic Inspector Salvo Montalbano is the hero of a series of whodunits by Andrea Camilleri, twelve of which have been translated into English. Montalbano has been a regular feature here, though not in the recent past since I had finished his whole ouevre quite some time back, and this was the first new Montalbano I had got since July 2011).
But to return to my thrust… The lastest Montalbano novel begins…
~~~~ He opened his eyes and immediately closed them again.
For some time now, he had been sort of refusing to wake up in the morning. It was not, however, to prolong any pleasurable dreams. which he was having fewer and fewer of these days. No, it was a pure and simple desire to remain just a while longer inside the deep well of sleep, warm and deep, hidden at the very bottom, where it would be impossible for anyone to find him.
But he knew he was irredeemably awake. And so with his eyes still sealed, he started listening to the sound of the sea….
…. He opened his eyes, looked at the clock. Seven. As he was about to get up, a dream he’d had came back to him, but he could remember only a few confused, disconnected images. An excellent excuse to delay getting up a little longer. Stretching back out, he closed his eyes again, trying to put the scattered snapshots in order.
And it is funnybut this has been my routine too for the last couple of months. And I do have a lot of dreams but can’t remember most of them even a few minutes after waking. But from the bits and pieces that persist, I figure it is probably for the best….
And to end on a lighter note, another author whose words are immortal – the least that can be said about them and if after reading them, you fail to identify the author, nothing can be done for you. And they fail to make you chuckle, at the least, then it is my considered opinion that you are not human….. a droid maybe, but certainly not human.
Here is a small collection of words of this supremely comic writer that I can identify with, or describe people I have met or situations I have undergone…
This news item had come to him not as rare and refreshing fruit but more like a buffet on the base of the skull with a sock full of wet sand.
……conversing with Aunt Dahlia was like throwing chaff into the path of a lively tornado…. (I know two people at least who could step in for the aunt, no questions asked)
Pongo uttered a curious hissing sound like the death-rattle of a soda-water siphon. (Pongo is someone I can must identify with)
“I hate you, I hate you!” cried Madeline, a thing I didn’t know anyone ever said except in the second act of a musical comedy. (So many Madelines in my life…)
The girl laughed – the gay, wholehearted laugh of youth. Pongo remembered that he had laughed like that in the days of before he had begun to see so much of his Uncle Fred. (And Uncle Freds too….)
Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove. (Happens to me a lot)
That’s all for now…..