Saturday, May 28, 2016

Eisenheim the Illusionist - Steven Millhauser



“All agreed it was a sign of the times; and as precise memories faded, and the everyday world of coffee cups, doctor’s visits, and war rumors returned, a secret relief penetrated the souls of the faithful, who knew that the Master had passed safely out of the crumbling world order of history into the indestructible realm of mystery and dream”.

I loved this sentence. I didn’t find its beauty until returning to the story after putting it down for several months. I wonder how long Millhauser thought over the words in the sentence. You often hear about authors that have the ability to spit sentences out onto the page almost effortlessly….and then there are others that labor through revision after revision after revision.

I was happy to find this sentence because I had a difficult time with this story. It just never grabbed me. I see that Millhauser is quite accomplished (the whole Pulitzer thing and the movie made out of this story) and his Facebook page is filled with beautiful passages from his work.

I am still suffering through the transitions of stages of my life. I use the word suffering not in a negative way.

We are well beyond the “interruptions that last June brought and we have settled into our lives with a familiar routine.

And the routine is what gives us comfort.

It’s funny…I look over some of my older posts and sometimes I can’t recognize my writing. I remember the stories but my commentary on my life or on the story and the author seem so unlike me.  

I need to set these readings and writings up as assignments. I’ll have to schedule them on my calendar.

I started BASS 1990 back on September 11, 2013 – that was 2 years 8 months and 17 days ago.
I posted my last entry "Nothing to Ask For" 1 year and 9 days ago.

On some mornings I stand in the shower- joints and bones aching, muscles sore from the run and think about these stories and me not reading them. Such a simple exercise.

Laziness.

I’ve ramped up my running now it’s time to ramp up my reading. My body needs it and more importantly my mind needs it.

And as I learned from reading Proust, readings of books and stories take on different meanings depending on when and where they are read. 



So Mr. Millhauser – apologies for not diving into your story deeper – perhaps your story will be the one that pushes me back into this game. 


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