Eccentric Musings (jakaEM)

"I have undergone sharp discipline which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy." Emily Brontë


still figuring this place out - Jen W

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Friend of My Youth
Alice Munro
Progress: 115/288 pages
Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Dog Years - Mark Doty Beautiful book. Surprising in many ways - the poetry of it; the poetry in it (a lot of Emily Dickinson). Wide-ranging, introspective: from the failure and futility of language as a way to understand another being (leave it to a poet to point out language's short-comings); to the power of love and art to keep us tethered and grounded and here, and to give us the meaning we need to stick around and to rise above grief and despair - the ever-present human condition.

Thus, in the face of all the dangers, in what may seem a godless region, we move forward through the agencies of love and art..

Not a lot of laughs - it's not that kind of book; but the sadness ultimately felt real. Not manipulative. Necessary and cleansing, I'd say. Reconciliatory. Is that a word? It should be.

I love that Doty is unashamedly sentimental, but not saccharine or anthropomorphic as with so many dog stories. I love how tactile he is. I love that he puts his relationships with his dogs on an equal basis with that of his humans. I love how much this book honours them all.