Reading Fugitive Pieces, a couple of months back, I came across a library that would consume my attention for years:
I would spend weeks inside your house, an archaeologist examining one square inch at a time. I looked in drawers and cupboards. Your desk and cabinets were empty. Then I began to go through your library: immense in scope and size, climbing every wall of the house. Books on the aurora borealis, on meteorites, on fogbows. On topiary. On semaphore signals. On Ghana high life, pygmy music, the sea shanties of Genoan longshoremen. On rivers, the philosophy of rain, on Avebury, the white horse of Uffington. On cave art, botanical art, on the plague. War memoirs from several countries. The most vigorous collection of poetry I’ve ever seen, in Greek, Hebrew, English, Spanish.
Browsing books on obscure, diverse topics is magical. Time’s flow is most definitely stemmed, dangerously so. I deemed my library to be insufficiently eclectic so this fantastic glacier/island/storm reading list, structured around naturally occurring processes and forms, is inspiring. Sand by Michael Welland is irresistible.
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