A Personal Dictionary

literature: n; 5.

We measure a great book by the quality of its shade. Terrible literature hurts our eyes precisely because of a lack of shade.

from A Personal Dictionary


Follow the words

   A book is a fever that should be followed… because it wants to be followed.

book: n; 4. When we read a book the book also reads us. And often, with nothing but platitudes and banalities before it, it is the book which closes us and sets us aside.
(A Personal Dictionary)

   A writer who does not read has never written anything.

   I read. I have always read. It may not be hyperbole to suggest that in books reside everything that I seek and everything that seeks me.

   I follow words into often miraculous places yet I am always surprised to find little evidence that others have made a similar journey.

   And so, perhaps I should make some noise, attract some attention. Perhaps I should alert people, or at least remind them, that here there may be something of interest…


   I discover books almost entirely through reading other books: the recommendation or denunciation by an author I love; a chance mention of an author who resembles one I admire; the possible futures to be explored in an extensive bibliography; the identification of similar concerns in the publisher’s catalogue listings, etc. Suggestions from friends usually go unheeded. Book leads to book— that is how it has always been.

   And so, in these pages some of my literary wandering will reveal itself. Neither advertisement nor critique, I will merely send some words forth from my reading. And rather than fill my days attempting to detail everything I read I will focus on those places where I have found few signs of others.

   The fragments that can be found here will be of no value to the non-reader. They are for those who read, for those who live with their language and follow its course through the thinking of others so that they may think their own way through the life that confounds and enchants, enrages and encourages, everyone who cares to approach it.

   What follows are not reviews or exhaustive accounts, but glimpses of one who has wandered, of one who has been and now is elsewhere.

   You might call these efforts paths.

   Then again, they may be love letters.

1 comment:

curtis said...

Very interesting Mike. I would like to see a Sociograph, or an interesting version of six degrees of seperation. I often feel intellectually exhausted but I do not think the condition is permenent, or fatal. I hold the key to my personal Skinner box.