Some days, your brain pops, crackles, is electric. Usually it’s an exciting time, this dash-dash-dash of ideas, connections. Yes, that’s it, connections. It’s connections that create meaning, I’ve found through my own writing. Today’s flashes:
– How easy it was for kids to smash bugs and how as adults we try to refrain almost totally. And then the myriad conclusions, how strange it is that kids come to nearly opposite conclusions as adults, or how maybe kids have it figured out on some animal level, that bugs can’t help us but could now and then hurt us, or how maybe kids just get a satisfaction from crushing, totally dominating something in a world in which they rarely can do just that?
– How silly it would be to go on eBay and buy someone else’s baseball glove. Like fitting your feet and toes into someone else’s shoes. The size may be right but it’s all wrong.
– How timeless and instantly likeable Lauren Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing)” is. How music baffles me, its power, the strings that make it move. Books, movies, stories, I think I get. But music’s magic stuff remains magic.
I’m not totally averse to buying hardcovers but am instead only mostly averse. I bought two. They are expensive. But they look good and feel good. But not good for traveling. And they take up a lot of space on your shelves. But sometimes you just got to get them. And so: with Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, I’d heard and read enough about it (World War II, chaste love story, a French girl, a German boy) to know that it might be up my alley. And it was. A little sentimental in spots, but the writing was mostly very nice, very pretty. I enjoyed the short-chapter structure. It’s a mix of lyrical literary and straight-up page-turning everybody-wants-the-diamond story. I read it in six or seven bursts.
And the other one, from one of my favorite fiction writers. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. Am reading it now. About two-thirds through. One of the most compelling, world-making first couple of pages you’ll ever read. And now it’s turned into very much of an adventure story, a journey with dangers around every corner. Strange for him, though I’ve read that he likes to do something pretty drastically new every novel. That he gets bored with doing the same thing twice. Other than the memory-within-a-memory thing that he does over and over in Never Let Me Go and in The Remains of the Day, this one has tons more plot and story. I’m glad I picked up both. And after these I think I’ll read a quiet little internal novel.