Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Getting Away

Felt a bit overwhelmed by it all early in the day but deftly escaped into the wonderful world of William Carlos Williams via a lovely picture book for children about his life and writing entitled A River of Words for a good (and I mean a good) twenty minutes around noon, and all was well again. The book's from the same team that created the splendid volume on Roget, the one that Karen gave me for a birthday present last year, and it's just as good, which is really saying something. In making the great American poet accessible to kids it succeeds in reminding even a fanboy like myself of exactly what makes Williams so special as a writer: the simple things he showed us that weren't so simple after all.

Having made my escape so successfully it struck me later in the day just how important the 'escapist' nature of great literature is to me. Now serious readers of Lit with a capital L don't really like this to be said as it seems to make the literary enterprise that bit less serious. But I've no doubt that it's the escape route provided by books that lies at the heart of their attraction, for the likes of this reader anyway. And I reckon there's a double kind of escape involved. You get away from this world being given access to other worlds. And you escape, if just for a short while, the confines of your own consciousness for the wilds and wisdoms of someone else's.

Better than a power nap.

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