Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Aimless Reading: The W's, Part 31.4 (Virginia Woolf)

Woolf, Virginia

I am not sure where I bought this. Like Between the Acts, it was recommended to me by my friend, S. I can remember his excitement telling me he had just discovered a book by Woolf about Elizabeth Barret Browning's pet cocker spaniel. It's one of her fluffier books (har har). I do not associate this book or its recommendation with the New York Subway, thankfully.

Well, Happy New Year, everyone. We are really getting to the final stretch of the Aimless Reading project. I am not sure if my recent loquaciousness has been spurred by having ten days away from work with nothing to do but read, write, watch movies and play with my daughter or by the fact that I feel like I need to get it all in before the project comes to a close. Either way, it feels luxurious to be writing all morning every day.

My daughter, who is fifteen plus months old, has been coming into language these past few months. Being home all day has been a joy, as I've gotten to see just how much she has picked up. Her current favorite things to say are "touch," "uh-oh," and, a la Morris Day and the Time, "o-e-o-e-o."

(In fact, she just interrupted the previous paragraph with shrieks. She has also started climbing on things and thus, falling off them, usually landing on her head.)

We're not quite settled into the new house yet. Most of my books are still in boxes. We put all of the art books and reference books and old books and the Yale Shakespeare out in the built-ins in the living room. They take up five or six shelves. There are still two shelves awaiting books. I have been loathe to remove my books from their boxes until we paint the built-ins in the hallway outside my office. Most of the books will be housed there.

I also have three sets of cheap bookcases that survived the moves of the past few years. One is in our bedroom and will likely stay there. The other two are currently in one of the guest bedrooms and will be moved in here. I still have to decide whether or not to paint my office. I've grown kind of used to the green, so I may keep it.

Also weighing on my mind is a new organizational scheme for my library. I plan to move away from alphabetization as the overarching principle. I want to have a poetry section and a Spanish language section and a Science Fiction section and so on, and I don't want to have to organize my books twice. The long and the short of it is that it will likely be weeks, if not months, before my books fully come out of their boxes.

You may recall that the very first post in this project, on December 14, 2008, came after I had unpacked my library, which had been in storage for about a year. Maybe some other serendipitous idea will occur to me as I reach the end of this project and start unpacking my books once again.

from Flush (spolier alert)

She had written that poem one day years ago in Wimpole Street when she was very unhappy. Years had passed; now she was happy. She was growing old now and so was Flush. She bent down over him for a moment. Her face with its wide mouth and its great eyes and its heavy curls was still oddly like his. Broken asunder, yet made in the same mould, each, perhaps, completed what was dormant in the other. But she was woman; he was dog. Mrs. Browning went on reading. Then she looked at Flush again. But he did not look at her. An extraordinary change had come over him. “Flush!” she cried. But he was silent. He had been alive; he was now dead. That was all. The drawing-room table, strangely enough, stood perfectly still.

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