a little roundup of things that inspired me this week
Let me first make it clear I have a deep love of all things English, most notably English literature. So it stands to reason British author Julian Barnes is one of my favorites. I first discovered him in audiobook form with Talking It Over. Incredibly funny. Ridiculously smart. Outrageously good. I could hardly wait to crack open The Sense of an Ending, the 2011 winner of The Man Booker Prize for literature. It did not disappoint. Short in length and still weighty and complex, it is the story of youth, age, regret—a brutally honest telling of one man’s attempt to come to terms with a life that looks quite different when viewed with the distance of age. Remarkable.
from The Sense of an Ending
We live in time—it holds us and moulds us—but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing—until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.
I’m not very interested in my schooldays, and don’t feel any nostalgia for them. But school is where it all began, so I need to return briefly to a few incidents that have grown into anecdotes, to some approximate memories which time has deformed into certainty. If I can’t be sure of the actual events any more, I can at least be true to the impressions those facts left. That’s the best I can manage.