Have you taken a book for granted today?

December 12, 2007

Doris Lessing’s Nobel Prize lecture made me cry inside.

And I think University Diaries has a thoughtful enough response to link to that I don’t really say much point trying to come up with my own.

Just, wow.

And yes, the thought has crossed my mind: I could have been born the exact same person that I am except into a world with no books, and I like to think I would have survived as some of the people Lessing talks about–giving reading lessons, devouring every scrap that passed my way, dreaming of being a writer–but another part of me might have been so angry that elsewhere in the world people had so many more books than they needed and didn’t even read them.

When I was in Brazil, I certainly saw an example of what Lessing is talking about. D and I took our leftover magazines and newspapers with us whenever we went to visit the small town in the interior that he volunteered in one summer. There was a young woman almost my exact same age who could read anything we took her in English–slowly, but dedicatedly. She read cookbooks from cover to cover just to read. I would have been her–and what would I have looked like to me? Not sure.

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