Friday, September 16, 2011

The Child of the Book

It may not, but may be known, that I work - apparently - as a bookseller. When I'm not pretending to be some sort of gardener...with little aptitude for reality, such as it is known, I live my life, usually, in books. Their spaces, like those of music, or painting or sculpture, give me the chance to wrestle with a world I am too astonished by to compete with..
Today I bought this book, 'Stones of a Century', by Michael Sharland, published in Hobart by Oldham, Beddome and Meredith Pty Ltd, 1952. An account of Tasmanian architecture and the landscape that engendered it. I am already living there... 

I've run away from the walls of the world, so determined they are. These walls around us, we who are supposed to be advanced, who do not even know our fingertips. We who supposedly control the world, know nothing. We are dumber than savages. We are savagery itself, insisting on our sovereignty, yet blind to all the world around us...
Could it be that the world will go backwards, and find there in its going backwards, its way forwards, or will it insist on its going forwards, and there find its true backwardness?
Such heroes, we, the human race are. Yet we destroy everything in our way. The past is nothing to us, being as it is, another commodity, ready to be spurned. We spurn ourselves, and belittle all that is not commodifiable. If monetary value is the standard by which we judge true value, we have lost our humanity.


  1. Faisal,
    i knew i know you from somewhere. that we met before.
    it must have been in one of those books; `cause i live there too.
    most of the time ...

  2. Demie,
    the book we are in is a beautiful one that goes on forever...

  3. Hello Faisal:
    Is there room for another two?!! We are sure that we could live in your current book and,most probably, any other book which you would choose. As it is, our heads are rarely to be seen out of the pages of some novel or another although we have to say that usually we are being transported to Ireland as we have a particular fondness for Irish writers. Now, there is an idea....a decaying Irish Georgian mansion....stones of centuries past....there we could happily live!!!!

  4. Hello Jane and Lance,
    I've been disappearing into William Trevor's worlds lately...apart from James Joyce, my favourite Irish writer. What is it about the Irish, that has them telling stories so naturally? Decaying mansion, yes, probably with a wild garden...

  5. Dear Faisal, I've been locked in "Biggles Defies The Swastika" since 1974 and (as much as I adore Biggles) all this excitement is getting a little wearing. Please airlift me out and deposit me in "Sense and Sensibility" or "Rebecca" perhaps. Even Blyton's "Shadow the Sheepdog" at a pinch. Thank you.

    Kind regards in anticipation,


  6. James, thanks for saying that. I felt I was probably getting a bit serious and esoteric, writing this post, but we all inhabit different spaces and these may not be those in the immediate sensory/material world around us. I needed to say it.

  7. Dear Dave, sometime soon I'll be popping up out of a rabbit hole from Terra Australis - not near any wasp nest - where you'll catch a glimpse of me in a copse near the Priory.
    How about Wind in the Willows? I could bring a picnic basket and a rug - that's about all you need, isn't it?

  8. Dear Faisal, i love your sentiments, and especially the paradoxes you expressed. Is there a human essence that enables us to talk meaningfully about 'humanity'? cheers to my fellow bibliophiles, catmint