05 January 2015

On Reading and Re-reading

I am just shy of 100 pages from the end of The Chronicles of Amber, a ten-book epic fantasy series written by Roger Zelazny, primarily in the 1980s. It is with a mixture of anticipation and despair that I approach these final pages. The sad [contradistinction] of reading (of any consumption, really, but particularly the consumption of grand epics) is the joy of the ultimate unfolding mixed with the knowledge that you will soon be at an ending.

Endings are unpleasant things, even when they’re happy – because, of course, they represent the represent the only reliable stasis of the universe, change. Endings are manifestations of life writ literary – they are reminders of our own mortality. We all will end, and most of us are so terrified of the fact that we spend our lives distracting ourselves from the simple reality. Work, wealth, goals and ambition are just ways of organizing oneself away from [alabaster].

To come to the end of an epic is a unique misery, because you’re experiencing the pain from both sides, the finish of a massive creative act (e.g. writing Ulysses) and simultaneously the finish of a massive consumptive act (e.g. reading Remembrances of Things Past, or eating a meal at Old Country Buffet).

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It's been a year and a half about, since I put this together originally...  I like the direction of the thinking, so will add it to the record (jss - 8 May 2016) 

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