Thursday, November 16, 2006

Extremely Good and Incredibly Honest

I (finally) finished reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and I am really moved by Jonathan Safran Foer's writing. His nine-year-old protagonist is completely believable, even though he has the sensibility of a fantastically creative adult. I seldom fall in love with characters in books, but Oskar Schell hooked me.

Bookworm had to return her copy to the library, but I think the grandmother's meditation she wanted to share was this (in any case, it's the meditation I want to share):
When I was a girl, my life was music that was always getting louder. Everything moved me. A dog following a stranger. That made me feel so much. A calendar that showed the wrong month. I could have cried over it. I did. Where the smoke from a chimney ended.
How an overturned bottle rested at the edge of a table.
I spent my life learning to feel less.
Every day I felt less.
Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.

8 comments:

Claude said...

This last sentence is sooooo true
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.
I have to remember it, as it's one of the things I have trouble with

Jo Spanglemonkey said...

I have to look up that book. I loved the excerpt.

Savtadotty said...

Yes! Read it! It's better than good!

Udge said...

Agreed! A wonderful, wonderful book. Highly recommended. So funny, so deeply sad.

Chancy said...

"I spent my life learning to feel less.
Every day I felt less.
Is that growing old? Or is it something worse?
You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness."


I had already copied this quote before I read Claude's comment.

I think it is growing old and also growing wise.

Tamar Orvell said...

I lost two best friends this year and mourning them is long, slow, and painful. I try to accept the sadness of these losses by dwelling on the happiness (really joy) that my friends, brought. I have blogged about this recently in my post "Jean Rice, beloved friend."

Another happy note: Our mutual blogging friend Stephanie invited me to join your salon this evening. And I look forward to meeting the one on whose blog I have been a lurker many months.

Yael said...

Wow I have GOT to read this book. That excerpt is amazing.

Savtadotty said...

Tamar - I look forward to meeting my "Atlanta lurker!"
Yael - Come to soup this afternoon! You can meet Tamar and I'll lend you the book.