Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Best Quote About Books EVER

"There exists somewhere a book written for each of us, and in every book, one can find something for oneself alone."  ~Dominique Aury

Oh, wow. Isn't that the coolest?

She read all of Proust every year for five years. That's something. I've never been so dedicated to re-reading someone. Irving a bit, Jane Eyre a lot, and Dickens. I can't think of anyone else at the moment. I've re-read a couple Nora Roberts books.

You? Have you ever dedicated yourself to re-reading someone so intensely?

Aury also said:

"It's not possible to disguise oneself when writing. You give yourself away, you always speak your truth."

She was a literary critic, translator, essayist, and editor reading manuscripts every day. At the time, the only female reader for twenty-five years of her career. She said whenever she read a manuscript, she knew who the person was behind the story.

She was interviewed at ninety-one and misspoke, saying she was in her seventies. She was amused at her mistake and said that at least she still had her memories. The interviewer told Aury her age, and she said, "Ninety-one? Well," she laughed. "Good for me. Good for me."

On another note, Dartmouth has A Simple Book Repair Manual. I wish I'd known this last time I dropped a book in the bathtub. Also includes how to repair torn pages, tighten hinges, and mend a spine.

A book written for each of us, with something for us alone. Isn't that kind of magical? That's how I feel when I walk in the bookstore. Every single time. Like in all those books, there's one I'm meant to read that day, one with a special message just for me and my life of the moment.

What do you think?

34 bonus scribbles:

Liz Wolfe 7/30/2008 12:17:00 AM  

Oh, man! When I saw "A Simple Book Repair Manual" I was hoping it was a manual telling me how to fix plot holes and disjointed story lines among other things.

Bernita 7/30/2008 07:22:00 AM  

I think you're right.

Angie 7/30/2008 07:28:00 AM  

The only book I remember absorbing me like that was Jacqueline Lichtenberg's House of Zeor, the first in her Sime/Gen series. I was somewhere in my mid-teens when I got it. The cover was awful and the blurb wasn't much better, but I recognized her name from reading about some of the big names in Star Trek fandom (this was mid-70s, for reference) and had heard of her Sime books and wanted to try one.

I'm glad I did. I got to the end, paused for a "Whoa," and a O_O and then immediately turned back to the beginning and read it again. I haven't read it all that recently, but I've read it at least six or eight times all together.

The Three Musketeers was almost the same; I think my second reading was within a few days of the first.

I reread a lot of books, quite often multiple times, but I usually let at least a year or two go by between readings. A book has to really hit me for some reason to get an immediate (or nearly) reread. In Lichtenberg's case, what really hit me about the book (which is SF) was the way she crafted a whole new kind of relationship for people to be in. It's deep and significant, not just a skiffy-babble term for something old. And she did it a couple more times, too, for other series. This is my favorite series of hers, though.

Angie, who wants to go reread them all now :)

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 08:08:00 AM  

ROFL, Liz! Sorry! I could use some help in that department, too!

Jenna 7/30/2008 08:36:00 AM  

Very cool and so true. I think that's why it is so hard to get recommendations for good books from others because each book speaks to us in different ways and we each connect with our favorites differently.

And this...

"It's not possible to disguise oneself when writing. You give yourself away, you always speak your truth."

...is what freaks me out when I write :)--knowing that I'm giving apart my secret self up and no matter how hard I argue that it is fiction some people will see it :0.

Mark Terry 7/30/2008 08:57:00 AM  

I'm always struck by how I respond to certain books that other people shrug at (and vice versa).

I'll name two that have had particular meaning to me that other people apparently said, "Eh, so-so."

"To the Hilt" by Dick Francis

"Bag of Bones" by Stephen King

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 09:00:00 AM  

Bernita, I choose to believe. :-)

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 09:04:00 AM  

Wow, now that's a book recommendation! I've never read Three Musketeers, but I've always meant to. Sounds like I have to, and soon! :-)

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 09:21:00 AM  

Jenna, it freaks me out, too. I think of one of my friends, and how herself was so THERE in her writing, even though she'd completely fictionalized everything.

It's definitely a little freaky!

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 09:24:00 AM  

Mark Terry, it's SO true! I've never read either of those books, though. Some people will be blown away by a book, and I'll just wonder what they saw in it.

Sometimes I think it's a little bit like each of us vibrate at a certain frequency, and it comes down to whether the story does too, or not.

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 09:26:00 AM  

Mark, I have NO idea why I decided to address you by your full name all of a sudden, LOL. I need to wake up.

Zoe Winters 7/30/2008 09:50:00 AM  

Wow, Proust is some heavy reading. Eeek.

Anyway I so agree with her about how you reveal things about who you are as a person when you write. I've heard authors go on and on about how they are not their characters, blah blah blah. Well no, maybe not, but it still all came out of your brain from your perspective and worldview. It might be twisted or shuffled around, but somewhere in there you'll reveal things about yourself. Possibly things more personal than you would tell your best friend. But that's life. That's writing.

If every single aspect of what you're writing absolutely disgusted you, you wouldn't be writing it, unless you're just writing for the market.

And I agree, books are a special kind of portable magic. To me it's amazing that you can read words on a page and see pictures in your mind and hear voices in your head. It's just so kickass I can't describe it.

Zoe Winters 7/30/2008 09:51:00 AM  

liz, I thought the same thing about "A Simple Book Repair Manual" The book of my dreams to teach me how to fix the crap draft in 12 easy steps. No such luck.

Edie 7/30/2008 10:26:00 AM  

I thought the same thing about "A Simple Book Repair Manual." LOL

The book that I felt in my gut and my heart was "The Diary of Anne Frank." Maybe it was my years, too, early teens, plus I was Jewish. I identified with Anne. But because I felt it so much, I think I read it only twice. I know what happened to her in the end, and even now I feel twisted inside to think of it.

Erica Orloff 7/30/2008 10:59:00 AM  

Hi Spy:
I LOVE that quote.

I have re-read Man's Search for Meaning at least a dozen times, I think. It's sort of like my manual for life, written by Viktor Frankl. I re-read Jane Eyre fairly regularly. I will re-read Dickens, too. Neil Gaiman. Margaret Atwood.

I agree with Mark. Some really and truly speak to me. Same with movies. And then I try to convey that passion to others and they don't react the same way--it's just such a personal thing. Even IF someone adored it as much as I did, they would clearly be responding to specific lines or scenes that spoke to them. And them alone. In a unique way.


spyscribbler 7/30/2008 11:05:00 AM  

Erica, Jane Eyre is the ultimate. I read bits of Neil Gaiman over, but not the whole things, which is strange. Except the short stories; I love his short stories.

Man's Search for Meaning is definitely on my short list. I skimmed all of it: I wasn't sure whether to buy the first one he wrote, or the second one where he kinda altered a few of his days since time had passed and he'd changed.

Robin 7/30/2008 11:13:00 AM  

I reread David Sedaris, Woody Allen, and Tolkein. They make me happy. I also love Stephen King's Dark Tower Series and I read it once, and jogged to the book on tape once. (Not during one lap, or anything. Just thought I'd clarify.)

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 11:25:00 AM  

Edie, I loved Diary of Anne Frank! I read and re-read another one in that time of my life: The Hiding Place. I loved both of those books!

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 11:27:00 AM  

Zoe, you know, Fast Draft in 30 Days works really well for some people. It's not a bad book at all.

And total magic, Zoe! Totally. I love that magic.

Melanie Avila 7/30/2008 12:00:00 PM  

The first book that comes to mind for me, and please don't groan, is Eat, Pray, Love. Her experiences really hit home for me, even though we aren't going through the same things. I struggle with a sense of loss and I'm trying to rebuild from that. Her observations, especially in the third part of the book, could have been taken directly from my thoughts.

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 01:32:00 PM  

Robin, what a great idea! It would take quite awhile, LOL. And yeah, I love anyone that can make me happy. I'm OBSESSIVE about listening to Stephanie Plum in my car!

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 01:33:00 PM  

Melanie, I really mean to read that one! It's at the top of my list. I even picked it up to read the other day, but I got sidetracked. I can't wait to read it!

Travis Erwin 7/30/2008 01:34:00 PM  

I've reread many of Twain's works.

spyscribbler 7/30/2008 01:36:00 PM  

Travis, I miss Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I definitely need to re-read those!

All these gems I forgot about!

StarvingWriteNow 7/30/2008 04:16:00 PM  

I like that quote. I may have to put it up at work, home... someplace.

Stewart Sternberg 7/30/2008 06:19:00 PM  

A book written for everyone? Then there are some people whose texts I never want to be exposed to. I never want to peer into their psyche. Still. It might make for an interesting horror tale.

A call. The middle of the night. Sleepily answering the phone, listening to the voice on the other end, the ominous recital: "I have your book. Your book. Click."

Zoe Winters 7/30/2008 10:46:00 PM  

Oh and I didn't mention the book that had the greatest impact on me, cause you've already heard about it like thirty times. :P

spyscribbler 7/31/2008 12:14:00 PM  

Writenow, I always put quotes I love on my blog, but then I never go back and read them. I think I need another system!

spyscribbler 7/31/2008 12:14:00 PM  

Stewart, LOL! That's hilarious. If you write it, I promise I'll buy it!

spyscribbler 7/31/2008 12:15:00 PM  

Well, Zoe, I think you should look up who said these quotes. ;-) I picked them out just for you!

LaDonna 7/31/2008 12:21:00 PM  

Spy, so true, just love that quote. Reading novelists I admire, carries a feeling of connection. Books definitely speak to me, and I see them as gifts. I, too, read the Anne Frank book when I was young. It touched me deeply, and I never forgot.

Other authors I've never forgotten are Mark Twain and Nancy Drew. I really love walking into a bookstore knowing the book I "need" at that moment will be there, waiting for me. Happens all the time!

spyscribbler 7/31/2008 01:03:00 PM  

"I really love walking into a bookstore knowing the book I "need" at that moment will be there, waiting for me."

That's it exactly! I LOVE that! It's so magical.

I devoured Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys when I was young, and I remember loving them, but I can't remember much about them. I should revisit!

Zoe Winters 7/31/2008 04:02:00 PM  

Oh Hell, THAT'S Pauline Reage? Oh that is SO cool. It's sad that she's gone. :(

I had heard the controversy over the book being written by a man, but I never believed it. Only a woman could write Story of O. Period.

spyscribbler 7/31/2008 10:42:00 PM  

I believe that, too, Zoe!