Sunday, June 8, 2008

I have noticed that

all of the books that I have brought with me are stories of travel and adventure.

The Golden Compass has sucked me in completely, as I have become obssessed with the concept of NORTH as of late, and here is this little book, recommemded to me a year before it was turned into a poorly made film, about a little girl´s journey to the North Pole. Phillip Pullman details his fascination with science and magic similarly to Tim Powers, and I was hooked into this tale right away.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Undr the Sea is certainly a tale of exploration and adventure, and while I don´t know the exact subject of the Tim Powers novel that I brought along, I have yet to read any of his work that doesn´t revolve around magic, science and transformation so I´m sure that fits in. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur´s Court is a novel of time travel and scientific innovation.

I realized all of this after I had purchased an additional book in Madrid. I had never heard of the author, an Irtishman named Gerard Donovan. The novel is entitled "Julius Winsome". I stared at the picture on the front, a single set of footprints in the snow, leading to a wooden cabin in a snow-filled clearing in the woods and realized, this is a destination. At that moment I realized that all of my otehr readings were about the journey, and here was the stark contrast, once you wind up in a place like that pictured on the cover, the journey is over, at least for me, and that instantly terrified me.

And it hit me all at once that I have not stayed in one place because I was content, or because I didn´t feel the pull of the journey, but because I was terrified of the destination, which for me feels like isolation. So I tear into Julius Winsome, whom I believe to be at the end of his journey, and I read half of it the first day, being yesterday. What it´s about doesn´t matter so much here (but it matters to me), all I can say is that I am consuming it like I´ve done to no work of fiction in a long time.

I started the trip by finishing a novel about time travel (not the above mentioned time travel novel, a different one). I wrote in the inside cover the city and date that it was finished in, and I left it on a seat in the Phillidelphia Airport. I will leave the Golden Compass in Madrid, and whatever other books I can wherever I finish them. Perhaps they will travel on. But Julius Winsome, that is going to get sent to someone special before it can travel on.

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