“Once I was beset by anxiety. I couldn’t tell right from left or orient myself. I could have cried out with terror at being lost. But I pushed the fear away—by studying the sky, determining where the moon would come out, where the sun would appear in the morning. I saw myself in relationship to the stars. I began weeping, and I knew that I was all right.”
Louise Bourgeois, New York, 1977
This is the tattered cover of an old paperback of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. The blurb on the back calls Benjy the “idiot manchild.” I was flipping through it, looking for a poetic title for this post, but so much of the writing felt like it would drown the world in darkness, or it was in vintage southern dialect, or politically incorrect in another way, or just creepy. Hush your blubbering. Take off your dress. That kind of thing. I attempted to read this book before I was old enough to understand it. But again, who understands it?
Other books I stole from my mother’s shelf and read with no clue at all: The Godfather, The Betsy, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, QBVII! I read that entire book without knowing the meaning of the word eunuch.I found out later, and the book made a lot more sense.