remembering ariadne

Moved most of my books upstairs this afternoon. I hesitate to say library but I guess that's the word. I was surprised how many there are, shelving them behind closed doors in wardrobes somehow cancelled their presence. Plus unshelved books always look like more. Also impressed by how long I have kept some of these ... they go back a long way, even to childhood. When I consider how much other stuff I've fecklessly let go or lost over the years. Then there are the omissions, those usually precious and much loved books that have disappeared at an unknown time under circumstances which remain mysterious, e.g. Greil Marcus' Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes: where the hell did that go? B-b-but ... doesn't matter. My other insight, not very original, was that any library, even a small one like mine, made up mostly of dog-eared paperbacks, is a labyrinth. In the Borgesian sense. Once you line up Homer, Herodotus, Plutarch, Augustine, Dante, Villon, Shakespeare, Milton, Defoe ... and all the moderns, you have a labyrinth, a maze you have threaded haphazardly over the years but in which you remain, happily or unhappily, lost: and will be so for the rest of your days.

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