Hello, This is my English Literature Blog. Through this blog I hope to gain perspective as well as a deeper understanding of what literature means to me, how it effects me, and what it tells me about the world I live in.
The title of the blog will change depending on my current book.
Underlined in a dark fluidity, almost trembling with excitement is the paragraph
” This fall I think you’re riding for- it’s a special king of fall, a horrible kind. The man falling isn’t permitted to feel or hear himself hit bottom. He just keeps falling and falling. The whole arrangement’s designed for men who, at some time or other in their lives, were looking for something their own environment couldn’t supply them with. Or they thought their own environment couldn’t supply them with. So they gave up looking. They gave up before they ever really even got started. “
I can see it clearly, a young suave 1950s dressed Mr. Antolini swishing his high baller with ice in it as his eyes communicate the concern for Holden.
And that’s when I fell in love with the novel. That’s when I found that emotional connection, the point of reading it a second time, the point of reading it at all. I’d been feeling this magnetism to the story up till this point, drawn to read it rather then study in my other subjects. I found myself relating to Holden, and hoping that maybe this time literature could tell me why. Tell me what I was feeling, and it did.
And my mind shot back to another eureka moment. Another passage underlined in obnoxious ballpoint blue, over and over, even circled in a mishaped box.
Milan Kundera’s Unbearable lightness of Being.
Two quotes in particular.
” Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is Vertigo ? Fear of Falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which temps and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified we defend ourselves. “
“we might also call vertigo the intoxication of the weak. aware of his weakness, a man decides to give in rather than stand up to it. he is drunk with weakness, wishes to grow even weaker, wishes to fall down in the middle of the main square in front of everybody, wishes to be down, lower than down.”
I could feel a strong link between the two. Pulling me closer and closer in. I had so strongly identified with which Kundera had said when I read it months before hand in the paradise of a vacation. It had gripped me, it was as if the words had not been read from a page but from a mystic fortune teller. Here they were again, slightly less pungent in the pages of Catcher in the Rye. The story much more relevant to my own life. It had been hard to see myself in tale that Kundera spun for I was not involved in romantic relationships never mind adulterous ones, but as for Holden it was much simpler to see my broken ways in his actions. To feel the loneliness to understand the shattering of the idealized world and the longing to run back to childhood to a time where the world wasn’t filled with phonies, while simultaneously trying out the world of adult pleasures.
I was so eager for the answer to the question, “what do you do about these feelings ? ” But still the book granted me none. One assumes since Holden is in help that he will be given what he needs, but I feel else wise having tried that road. What does a man or woman do when something deep inside her rides for a fall ?