Posts tagged marilynne robinson
Think how much any individual mind, any brain, is enlarged by what we can know through books and through literature — places, people, ideas that we would never otherwise experience, things much larger than anyone could contain in his or her own person. People crave this. You go way back into antiquity and everybody is memorizing Homer, everybody is memorizing “The Epic of Gilgamesh” — works of literature that build the cultural mind and make it capacious. Most of us are not the creators of those things, but we possess ourselves of them — or they possess us of them. And each successive work of literature expands the possibilities of our language, deepening our expressive capacity. In almost every major literature there are works that make you love being human, and make you love and revere the humanity of other people. That is the great potential of any art.
— Marilynne Robinson in The New York Times
I’ve been reading so much lately, a book every four or five days and often a book in a day. I’ve loved it; loved feeling my brain expand rapidly day by day by day. Marilynne always knows.
A few weeks ago, I had my last shifts at JOE and the Kelly Writers House; last week, I graduated from Penn; and in three weeks, I move to the Pacific Northwest.
Last night, Ben and Nolan and I drank champagne in the backyard out of mason jars; then Ben and I walked down all of campus, pointing out all the important places and ending at the Button, sitting there for a long time, thinking.
This afternoon, I’ll drive Ben to the airport and put boxes in my parents’ car. I’m selling books and coffee equipment; giving away old clothes and unused makeup; stacking books to bring with me. As Ana told Jessica, I’m kind of going just to go, to go. I do have a job, a safety-net and an assurance; for that, I’m so grateful and I’m excited. It’s true, though, that I’ve picked Vancouver as somewhere new, from-scratch, and also kind and safe. I’m excited.
This week, I reread Gilead. I couldn’t believe how much of it mattered so much to me. This book nearly created me in some ways, and so it reflects the way I think and what I believe.
All that is fine, but it’s your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined.
Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Lamb Roast, April 2014 (taken by Janelle); Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas, March 2014.