Friday, October 30, 2015

the last book I ever read (How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti, excerpt five)

from How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life by Sheila Heti:

When I strip away my dreams, what I imagine to be my potential, all the things I haven’t said, what I imagine I feel for other people in the absence of my expressing it, all the rules I’ve made for myself that I don’t follow—I see that I’ve done as little as anyone else in this world to deserve the grand moniker I. In fact, apart from being the only person living in this apartment, I’m not sure what distinguishes me.

There are people whose learning is so great, they seem to inhabit a different realm of species-hood entirely. Somehow, they appear untroubled by the nullness. They are filled up with history and legends and beautiful poetry and all the gestures of all the great people down through time. When they talk, they are carried on a sea of their own belonging. It is like they were born to be fathers to us all. I should like one day to impale them all on a long stick. But I know I won’t. It will never be one of the gestures by which I am know, so I might as well forget about it. Thinking about it does little to help me inhabit the realm of living.

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