Sunday, 18 July 2010

Upon finishing 'His Dark Materials'.

There's something so wonderful about finishing a really great book. It's that sublime combination of empathy, passion, and clarity of mind that flows through your veins as you come to the end of the last page. Wearied from the journey you've inevitably been on with the characters, burdened moreso by the weight of your own experiences, the sense of relief is palpable.

Really good books always leave me feeling a little drunk, and allowing oneself to sink into that blissful catatonia is one of life's greatest pleasures. The intellectual high combined with the base and complex power of the emotions you are left with, sweep over your life like a sea mist, dampening everything with its touch. This is the time to create. To fuck, to kiss, to do something with your life. Even just to sit and watch the magnificent glory of the world pass you by, feeling a little richer for your pleasures.

But it never lasts. The fog clears, the dew dries, and soon you are left clinging desperately on to the last fragments of whatever world you have just left. The schwa-like urges you craved to fulfil ebb away, and soon you are left once more to the mercy of the real world, with only a fragile sense of dislocation to remind you of what you briefly were.

You were an adventurer, and in this sense almost all good literature is a work of fantasy. For like the protagonist in any fantasy novel, you return to your world to a blank reaction. No one can know what you've gone through, and any attempt to try to explain would cheapen the epiphany. You must simply labour on, enlightened by the wonders you've seen.


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