Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Reading. Burgess.

I must confess that I have never read A Clockwork Orange, not all the way through. I started reading it, more than once, but I never got very far. The language confused me, even after I learned Russian. Which helped. But the dizzying whirl of Burgess' words left me disoriented, confused. I put the book away.

I was looking for something else when I came across Honey for Bears. Flipping through the pages I first saw the epigraph. It comes from a poem by Osip Mandelstam, the first two lines, first in Russian, and then the translation: We shall meet again in Petersburg, as though there we had buried the sun. I felt a shiver up my spine. I had been reading Mandelstam just the other day; here he was calling to me again. Bought the book, thought about it on the ride home (it was a long drive for someone with nothing to think about...), opened it, slid into the words...The words fly by, send me reeling. I am falling into a different world again. I will have to take this one slowly, think about what Burgess meant by referencing We shall meet again in Petersburg...that whisper across the decades.

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