And then I encountered Rilke, also quoted by Patricia Hampl in The Art of the Wasted Day and in one of my blog entries about that. Nunez's narrator, quoting Rilke in italics, commenting on her own reading (the way I comment upon mine in my blog...) says, "Once again I come upon his famous definition of love: two solitudes that protect and border and greet each other." In the Hampl book, the translation chooses "touch" instead of "border." I had just just quoted that book/translation here, noting the similarity to my own marriage, in the context of being lucky to be married to another artist. Layer upon layer of reading the right book at the right time, making almost every day a Random Coinciday.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Still the Right Book at the Right Time
prose-writing contest, where I was a runner-up, compared me to Sigrid Nunez. I kept coming across her name in other reading, and figured it was the right time to seek her out. I read For Rouenna, about a Vietnam War nurse, and Sempre Susan, her memoir of Susan Sontag. And, while I really enjoyed her discursive style, sometimes fragmentary and vignette-like, which reminded me of Jenny Offill, I didn't understand the comparison to me. Then I read The Friend--about a dog! And grief. Yes, and also about writing and writers in academia, and I finally saw the connection, as that's also the subject matter of my story "A Retiring Woman." At any rate, a fine compliment!Maria Garcia Teutsch, which I had published in Escape Into Life, with images of love, snow, water, bridge...death.