Thursday, September 24, 2009

an earlier, passionately earnest self

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This reminds me so much of myself:
The apartment was entirely, was only, for her: a wall of books, both read and unread, all of them dear to her not only in themselves, their tender spines, but in the moments or periods they evoked. She had kept some books since college that she acquired for courses but never read--Friedrich Jameson, for example, and Kant's Critique of Judgment--but which suggested to her that she was, or might be, a person of seriousness, a thinker in some seeping, ubiquitous way; and she had kept, too, a handful of children's books taken from her now-dismantled girlhood room, like Charlotte's Web and the Harriet the Spy novels, that conjured for her an earlier, passionately earnest self, the sober child who read constantly in the back of her parents' Buick, oblivious to her brother punching her knee, oblivious to her parents' squabbling, oblivious to the traffic and landscapes pressing upon her from outside the window.

- Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children, 2006

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