Wednesday, 25 February 2009


Mavis, Mavis, Mavis you wrote it down for us. You said, ‘Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait.’ But we wanted more. In fact, once we began we wanted them all. Starting with The Moslem Wife and ending with Henri Grippes we had to, we needed to read them all. All at once. How could we not? Our inner Gollum mesmerized by the beautiful words, the startlingly accurate descriptions of our solitude, even the smallest thought that inhabits the deepest recesses of our mind, makes us lust for more. For how did you?

How do you know us so well? For aren’t we all in exile. Eternal tourists adrift between choice and circumstance wandering through cities and life. Strangers in strange lands and sometimes strangers in our own homes. Fighting in great wars. The great wars of the world and the wars within. But what astonishes us is how could you encapsulate it all in words. So concisely, so precisely.

Among all these questions and answers you simply write, “Make a wish.” So we too echo the words, “We wish - we wish - but first we must know what Marie has wished for us.” And that only Mavis can tell.

(Afterthoughts on books: part 3)

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