Thursday, January 12, 2006


There was a lengthy article in the november Believer about materials found in books, the random that folks use as bookmarks, or the objects that find themselves lodged or stored, by accident or design, within the shelter of a books pages and cover. Last weekend I picked up my copy of Suskind's Perfume, moreso from boredom than anything else, I thought of Jakob, the Austrian teenager who endured god knows what as an exchange student to some friends of mine. I found in the back of the book, an English Penguin Edition, boarding passes from Heathrow to Louisville via Dulles. How odd, I thought, what attracted this soul to the book? Was it the reproduction of the 18th Century nude on the cover? Did the fellow have a bent for literary whodunnits? Was he trying to impress anyone? Did he actually finish the book? The flight across the Atlantic should have been sufficient time for such, but who knows, and more importantly, does it really matter? I am not normally neurotic in this bent. Other bounds, almost assuredly, but not this exact stripe of questioning. I didn't wind up reading more than 25 pages before shelving Perfume and electing, instead, for my present course of action.

Yesterday I arrived at the Goodwill with diminished optimism, a resignation not bound to realiy, as such, but just of tempering my excesses of imagination. Perhaps the Presidential visit to Louisville had a hand in this delimiting. Very quickly I found two texts that I hope to read, Gangs of New York w/ a foreward by Borges and Armageddon by Max Hastings, one of the latest trend of "why did the war drag on midway through 1945?" The latter text caught my attention as it had a sticker ont he back with the price in Euros. How odd, i thought, holding this well worn copy of a text only released in paperback this past October. I can't say I submitted to more pathological speculation about the book being purchased in Brussels by a layman historian with a learning disability. No I didn't but as I type these words I ponder whether the unknown person finished the book.


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