Tuesday, July 31, 2018

confection collection

Dear You,

Suppose you were to take a little sample, a little morsel of everything you encountered in a month, or half a year; every worthy sight; a little of every interesting detail, every curious sound, a little bit, a bite, a slice, of everything you saw and took note of in these moments of time and space.  And then further suppose, you were to take all these bits and bobs, and present them in a large and well-crafted frame, and then give the whole confabulation to a friend.  This marvelous and never-before-seen distillation of all the time and experience you have lived. 

Receiving something like that is what it is to read The Rings of Saturn, by W. G. Sebald.  If when you reach the end of it, and you have licked the bowl by looking up the unfamiliar words and phrases (quincunx, marasmus, soakaways, francs-tireurs, insuperable, barely malt coffee, Silesian, Martello towers, plutôt mourir que changer, tumuli, boffins) you will have left to savor still the transmutation of your own experience into a telling, a showing, an image, a collection, or even just a letter to someone.  Like this one, to you. 

Pleasure awaits: be off to your bookshelf or library!