Flowers in a Wind

From whence did it spring, this belief in books as worlds unto themselves? Books were always well considered in the house in which I grew up, but never worshipped as such. It was recognised that books at their best were a glorious invention: that a stack of pulped wood, sliced into pages and covered in tiny black letters could conjure up such an array of fascinating characters, scenarios and concepts was, as anyone must accept, something to be marvelled at. Once written, it is true, a text does take up a life its own: it goes out, like a ruddy-faced schoolboy, into the world, and gets into all manner of shaping scrapes. The words may stay the same, like your DNA, but the meanings never stop shifting, like flowers in a wind, caressed by breezes, or blown apart by stiff winter storms. A book is not a static thing. It is, as Speyer noted, a world unto itself.

And so on, and so forth…. Chapter Six, Part Two.


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