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Quotes [Apr. 24th, 2016|02:37 pm]
I quote as I listen. In all books there are places where the stones seem to be coming loose, stones that with a flick of a finger we might pull or dislodge and pocket, like that dark volcanic ore in the summer wall outside Augusta in Shawshank, in that field a field no more, not yet meadow.

The old books are wildest, the least cultivated, the meadows crazed with flowers and sown with salt and teeth and men’s bones under rain and sun and a thousand turnings of the same moon and the same stars, wheeling and circuiting, surprised in their changelessness as the gods were with us in what we do and do again.

I read, which means I ramble. On each walk I take each evening the four or five best thoughts round themselves into a story that’s not about that walk but about something else, something that would make that walk vast and indeterminate, like a snake uncoiled. Or say the walk itself is a journey or a pilgrimage, beginning here and ending there. But the story of that walk forms a circle and links itself like a snake coiled around those four or five revolving points, like pylons straddling the mountains, and single lights reiterant as light itself falls.

Quoting is like this. I read Emerson, Robert Burton, Montaigne, even Shakespeare like this: not through but over. These books I find myself reading in reverse, following some irregular (memorial) beat, more often than forward, at march tempo. Or say whatever I quote, each time, is the epigraph to that single book I’ve yet to write. Instead of the dozen I will. I took a braid out of Baudelaire once for a sheaf: ‘Quelle ordre impérieux ! quelle fanfare de lumière !’ etc. But Coleridge would have been just as good, or better.

There are fields untilled that meadows remember, as they turn wild again.