May 8th, 2012
james-meader

I do a lot of underlining when I read, my chickenscratch marginalia essentially guaranteeing no one will ever ask to borrow a book I’ve read (nor offer to lend me one of theirs).

When I read a passage that gets something particularly right—that aha moment that great writers give to us—I find myself reading it aloud to anyone who will listen (if I’m alone, I’m on the phone within minutes). @RadhikaJones recommended Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage to me over drinks a few years back, before Picador had bought the rights to reissue it in paperback.This passage from the book had me reading aloud immediately.

"Not a history of how I recovered from a breakdown but of how breaking down became a means of continuing.”

I love so many things about this, but mostly how he defamiliarizes the idea of a breakdown, turns it on its head, and offers a different way of looking at it. From despairing to hopeful. From something to be feared to something to be, if not embraced, then at least welcome and understood.

  1. picadorbookroom posted this
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