Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Library and books

If all human existence could be condensed into a single building it is a library. Libraries are the store houses of all human passion. The good ones have a smell totally unique ... old tobacco smoke from the days when smoking was allowed, paper, and old leather. Is there a greater smell in all the world? I know I am not alone in my passion for libraries ... the obsessive love ... not just of books, but the buildings and rooms that house them is repeated, and often, in books, music, and film. For me libraries are total loneliness, the full embrace of all of humanity, and sex all in one convenient location ...assuming it is a GOOD library filled with books, not Cd's or DVDs and has been such for at least 100 years.
On books all I have to say is that I was reading Flaubert's Madam Bovary recently ... the forward is by Caroline Gordon, an accomplished Kentuckian author. She details Flaubert's struggle with each phrase, sentence, paragraph and his effort to make his novel perfect ... trim ... beautiful ... nothing superfulus, no awkward phrase. This does nothing for me but make me feel guilty for not reading it in the origional French, not that I could and have any greater understanding than reading it in English.