Friday, October 7, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 8.1 (George Oppen)

Oppen, George
Selected Prose, Daybooks and Papers

Purchased at Talking Leaves Books. Sorry for my recent absence. Baby plus mother visiting plus returning to work have left me with less focus than usual. But here I am.

I bought this at Talking Leaves Books in 2008. I think I bought it during our move from the house in Black Rock to our temporary digs on Auburn St., where we lived for about nine months. I can remember it sitting on the nightstand next to my bed. I was also reading Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers at the time. I distinctly remember deciding not to finish that book, despite already having read 1000 pages of it. I just couldn't go on. I picked this up instead. I guess I wasn't finishing books at the time. My book mark sits at page 95. I took today's excerpt from the bottom of that page.

from Selected Prose, Daybooks and Papers

Since one does no in any case live forever, and since the furthest possible extremes of age may not be desirable to experience, it is entirely reasonable to risk one's life for a purpose, far more reasonable than people say. But since one can give his life only once, it is true that he must be guided simply by his feelings, by what happens to matter to him–

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