Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Louise Erdrich Quote #1

In high school I fell in love with the books of Louise Erdrich.  I recall writing a paper on one of her first novels, Love Medicine.  I actually haven't read much of her writing of late, so I can't vividly recall why I loved her so much.  I do think it had to do with her being one of the first writers who helped me see that it is possible to phrase something in the most particular of ways--in a way that no one else does, or has ever thought of before.  This inclination toward invention has grabbed hold of me ever since.
My mother sent me this week's Writer's Almanac; Louise Erdrich is quoted extensively.  The first quote I have to record here involves book-love, which I very much relate to:
"We have a lot of books in our house. They are our primary decorative motif—books in piles on the coffee table, framed book covers, books sorted into stacks on every available surface, and of course books on shelves along most walls. Besides the visible books, there are the boxes waiting in the wings, the basement books, the garage books, the storage locker books. They are a sort of insulation, soundproofing some walls. They function as furniture, they prop up sagging fixtures and disguised by quilts function as tables. The quantities and types of books are fluid, arriving like hysterical cousins in overnight shipping envelopes only to languish near the overflowing mail bench. Advance Reading Copies collect at beside, to be dutifully examined—to ignore them and read Henry James or Barbara Pym instead becomes a guilty pleasure. I can't imagine home without an overflow of books. The point of books is to have way too many but to always feel you never have enough, or the right one at the right moment, but then sometimes to find you'd longed to fall asleep reading The Aspern Papers, and there it is."


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