In the wake of Nobelgate, Anna North at The New York Times printed a well-crafted response to the decision to give this year’s Prize in Literature to Bob Dylan. Although argued from a slightly different point of view than my own post yesterday, it essentially resonates with the same message: The Swedish Academy got it wrong. Badly.
But instead of focusing on the negative, I thought I’d offer some examples of poetic literary quotes over the few next few days to remind us all of the power and inspiration behind the written word.
This one comes from the hugely talented British expat writer Lawrence Durrell (1912-90), whose most famous tetralogy of works, The Alexandria Quartet, includes some of the most beautiful writing I’ve read. Here’s a taste of TAQ #1, Justine:
“[F]alling in love…is a simultaneous firing of two spirits engaged in the autonomous act of growing up. And the sensation is of something having noiselessly exploded inside each of them. Around this event, dazed and preoccupied, the lover moves examining his or her own experience; her gratitude alone, stretching away towards a mistaken donor, creates the illusion that she communicates with her fellow, but this is false. The loved object is simply one that has shared an experience at the same moment, narcissistically; and the desire to be near the beloved object is at first not due to the idea of possessing it, but simply to let the two experiences compare themselves, like reflections in different mirrors…from here love degenerates into habit, possession, and back to loneliness.”