Tuesday, August 06, 2013


from Kevin Brockmeier's The View From the Seventh Layer

"...the conscience of every house was the bookshelves. She was demoralized by the number of houses whose shelves held only clocks and geodes and a few back issues of TV Guide.  She imagined the consciences of the people who lived there hardening into a thousand immovable facets as they sat in their armchairs and watched the minutes roll by.  And many of the shelves that did contain books carried only a few tattered romance novels or an oversized hardcover tribute to some summer blockbuster or television series.  It was the rarest of houses that was actually equipped with books she would have been excited to read. She knew that it was priggish, but she came to rash conclusions about the people whose collections she perused. She couldn't help herself.

People who read Maeve Binchy give their sympathy so indiscriminately that she wondered whether it might not be self-pity simply masquerading as sympathy.

People who read Charles Bukowksi believe the only clear vision is a disfiguring one.

People who read read Thomas Pynchon are smart but disdainful.

People who read D.H. Lawrence suspect that the forbidden is not necessarily without its virtue, and so are easily persuaded that the forbidden and the virtuous are one and the same.

People who read Anne Rice believe that tragedy is romantic.

People who read Salman Rushdie use their scruples like a blade: the humane ones use them for opening, the cruel ones use them for wounding.

People who read Tolstoy find it difficult to be alive because they are reasonable, while people who read Dostoyevsky find it difficult to be alive because they are not.

People who read Anne Lamott, like people who read Anne rice, believe that tragedy is romantic, but the people who read Anne Lamott believe it ironically.

People who read Tom Clancy would not approve of her - neither her weakness nor her sorrow.

People who read Tom Wolfe feel that they have never abandoned their ground, tht it is the world around them that has snapped free of its foundations.

She approved wholeheartedly of people who read Carson McCullers - their open nerves and their beaten glances.

She did not believe she would ever be capable of understanding people who read James Patterson."

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