Sunday, November 23, 2008

Two Unrelated Quotes

Well, I was expecting doom and hell fire when I saw this fire-hydrant Bible verse, but it turned out to be a quite kindly-intentioned act of vandalism. And this is my commandment to you: That you should love one another as I have loved you. A small freelance Holiday Season billboard, apparently.

In addition to fire hydrants, I am reading fiction. The second (unrelated) quote of this post comes from a new novel by Tim Parks called Dreams of Rivers and Seas.

One does not question the mental processes of visual-image perception that moment by moment construct the world around us, even though experiments have shown how fallible those processes can be. One does not question them because to do so would mean chaos.

The story concerns westerners in India – scholars and aid workers and journalists – whose perceptions are consistently shown to be inadequate.

The books of Tim Parks veer wildly in quality, I think. But that is a good thing, because he is hopeful and ambitious and willing to fail sometimes. My favorite, before this one, is called Destiny.

It is about a couple whose adult son commits suicide.

Neither of these two novels even really tries to resolve any of the various moral terrors that are described. But the descriptions themselves are serious and convincing.