Sunday, July 28, 2013
Most of what we read ultimately ends up forgotten. We retain vague impressions of the books, primarily how we felt when we read them and what we thought of them. The actual content fades away, except for a few passages here and there that made an impression on us for one reason or another. Tomes of hundreds of pages, and in the end, we are left with a handful of paraphrased quotations and a blurry summary shorter than Wikipedia's synopsis, and sometimes not even that. 'What futility!' one imagines. Even for the books that changed our lives, there is little that can be recalled. And yet, one hopes, some part of those books remains in us, at least the better ones, woven into our being, setting the stage for our beliefs and biases. Long forgotten passages lurking in our minds like shadowy whisperers, putting words in our mouths that we may never come to speak otherwise.