between the stacks in the library
not like anyone stopped to see
we came, they went, our bodies spent
between the dust and the microfiche
dark winters wear you down
up again to see the dawn
in your worn sweatshirt
and your mother's old skirt
it's enough to turn my studies down
now that you feel you say it's not real
I never thought I would come of age
let alone on a moldy page
you put your back to the spines
and you said it was fine
if there's nothing really left to say
you're taking toffee with your vicodin
something sweet to forget about him
if you go your own way I will go my own way
and we'll never speak of it again
don't check me out!
Let me introduce you to the place I spend all my time at. It's a tiny library, but it's a library nonetheless. Too dark in there, really, and sort of claustrophobic, but cozy at the same time. Sometimes I sit there and think of "Young Adult Friction", my favourite song by The Pains of Being Pure Above, and how this room would be perfect for secret love affairs because there aren't that many people around. And then I get all sentimental and go back to my books.
Today the first thing we had to do in my seminar was to write down our very own, personal canon. It was a lot of fun, especially analysing it and realising that of course my obsession with English literature is glaringly obvious. My choice seems rather limited although I do have read other books...from other countries...and other times. It's not like I haven't read "War and Peace" or "Madame Bovary", it's just that they don't seem to have influenced me as much, I don't go back to them all the time. Here's what I scribbled down:
All these books made me go a little crazy, I wanted to suck them up, dive right in, live inside. Didn't get them out of my head. Or they're simply part of my life, so much that I don't even care if they're "good". I grew up with them and they've stayed with me. The characters have influenced the way I speak, the way I behave, for example half my being might be modelled on Eva-Lotte, the girl in Astrid Lindgren's wonderful "Kalle Blomquist", possibly my favourite children book. Thinking about it, I should have included one or two other books I read when I was ten or eleven as I keep rereading them every year....
When I read "The Great Gatsby" I already knew that it was many people's favourite, but I still couldn't get it out of my head, had to read it again right away. I analysed "Hamlet" until I knew parts of it by heart and it got better all the time. I quote from Harry Potter every day because I literally grew up with these books. My theoretical approach to history was influenced by a work of fiction, "Die Ausgewanderten". And so on...