Consumables #135 Reading: The Buried Giant

So the other day I was moving a framed piece of art from one wall to the other, and the frame it was in was a cheap-o five-dollar number from a certain Swedish warehouse home store/purveyor of the 99 cent meatball. I was walking across the room with this big frame and it just fell apart in my hands. It was as if I was playing Jenga with all of the pieces of the frame and losing spectacularly. The wood pieces fell apart, the glass in the frame hit the wall next to me, a big piece of the glass bounced back and hit me on the forearm. Not quite in the wrist artery area, but right up next to it. It scratched me pretty good, and I did bleed a bit, and it hurt like a motherflipper (the scratch was probably 5 inches long), but the placement of the scratch and the sight of blood near my wrist? I FREAKED THE EFF OUT, you guys. Like, full on AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! horror movie style that made my guy run into the room with a look on his face like he was going to murder whoever was murdering me.

I have to say, I am not a panicker, in general. I have been in panic-appropriate situations and I keep it quite cool. But apparently? Scratch me near my potential gore spurters and I will totally lose my mind. That seems fair though, right?

I have no appropriate segue to offer up so anyhoozle: I read The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, who has been one of my faves ever since I read Remains of the Day which was one of my all-time top books when I was college age. Beware, his books can seem slow to some, but I experience them as books to marinate oneself in. Just, roll around in it, is what I say. All of his books are different in terms of style– he has done historical fiction, science fiction, a detective mystery, and this one is a fantasy complete with trolls and knights and dragons and of course, a long walk. Where would fantasy be if people didn’t have stroll around for weeks on end? However the themes are often the same– most often he’s writing about love, memory, and lonliness. In this one, Axl and Beatrice, an older couple who live in a village where people have trouble remembering their pasts, decide to take a long walk to another town to see their grown son who they haven’t seen in so long they have almost forgotten him. The love that they feel for each other is subtly but movingly described, and the story has many layers that all point to the question: is there a utility to forgetting some things, even things important and dear to us? When does forgetting serve us well and when does it hurt us? Ishiguro makes me feel wistful, and yet comforted in my wistfulness.

Have a loverly weekend, lovers. Here’s a wistful song to kick it off.

Heroes, David Bowie

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