Friday, January 22, 2021

the last book I ever read (Lily King's Writers & Lovers: A Novel, excerpt six)

from Writers & Lovers: A Novel by Lily King:

‘It’s weird, isn’t it? My sister and I drove cross country once. She got all these books on tape, big books like War and Peace and stuff. But we started talking and never listened to them. It was kind of a joke we had, that when we ran out of things to say we’d listen. We just kept talking, though. And now I can’t remember what we said.’

The air between us crackles, as it does when you speak of your beloved dead. But it’s hard to know what to say next.

We wander through Art of the Ancient World, past a Babylonian lion, Etruscan urns, an enameled Nubian bracelet, body parts from Greek statues: a sandaled foot, a muscular male bum with one thigh. It’s good to see art, to remember what a natural human impulse it has always been. We move into Art of Europe, the haloes and angels, the sacred birth and bloody murder of one man over and over, a whole continent possessed by one story for centuries.

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