Thursday, October 30, 2008


"That odd capacity for destitution, as if by nature we ought to have so much more than nature gives us. As if we are shockingly unclothed when we lack the complacencies of ordinary life. In destitution, even of feeling or purpose, a human being is more hauntingly human and vulnerable to kindnesses because there is the sense that things should be otherwise, and then the thought of what is wanting and what alleviation would be, and how the soul should be put at ease, restored. At home. But the soul finds its own home if it ever has a home at all."

- Marilynne Robinson, Home

I know it's only the end of October, but I think I can say without fear of contradiction that Marilynne Robinson's Home is my pick for book of the year. Not since Faulkner has prose been this pristinely beautiful, so mercilessly gentle, so Old Testament like in the starkness and weight of its sorrow. Every page of this book is at once an act of glory and an act of grace, of language at its most exquisite, aching with what remains unspoken. It's a book that deserves not so much to be read, as to be contemplated, meditated on.


Space Bar said...

This sounds like something I'd like to - should - read.

km said...

so Old Testament like

I am sold. I am a big sucker for OT-like prose.

Falstaff said...

sb: You should. You really should.

km: I don't know that the prose is OT-like. I think it's more that the sensibility is OT-like. But read it and see for yourself.