The TV is now showing a psuedo-documentary “haunted lighthouses.” I look up from time to time. Some lighthouses are beautiful, romantic, outposts. The show keeps zooming in on the iron staircase. It reminds me of the bookstacks at the University of Illinois main library. I will see them very soon.
I actually have a lot that I should have been doing, but I instead read a novel before the lights went out. It has been too long since I read a good one. A friend gave me a copy of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, which was quite liberating, but that was quite a while ago. This summer Noriko read a Japanese translation of Kafka’s Trial. She complained about the translation. I remember reading it with such excitement and confusion when I was an undergraduate. I think it was a summer between classes. I found a lovely German edition of some of his works. I think you have to be in a certain mentality though to appreciate his genius. Being a teacher, I don’t allow myself that freedom of being free enough to understand Kafka. When I was a student I could skip a class if I was overwhelmed by a mood or needed to finish a book. Of course, you cannot do that when you run the class.
In any case, this novel is Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. I am only one-third way through, but I am engrossed. As with my nonfiction, I love nice detailed description that places me in the scene. I like interesting characters. Anyone who knows me and the book, though, knows that the reason I am hooked is it is a book lover’s book, centering around a book, booklovers, second-hand bookstore owners, and the like. It also has the enchanting streets of Barcelona, and faint echoes of the Spanish civil war, and the oppression under Franco. I’ve never been to Barcelona, but have Catalonian relatives who have painted a picture that is almost palpable.
I am so desirous of going back to reading it (to escape the bad aftertaste of the cheap film), but everyone else is trying to sleep so it would be too evil of me.
I am now recalling how much I loved air travel when I was young. I was proud of being able to identify types of planes, and to recognize airlines by their tail logos. I still have a collection somewhere of plastic and metal pilot wings they would give children like me who were so excited to see the cockpit. Many of these airlines are now history: Pan Am, Alleghany, etc. I used to be so excited about any kind of travel. My favorite was trains in Europe. I loved to people-watch, read, watch scenery, and talk with people. I was impressed by my traveler’s intelligence. They read, spoke many languages, had good questions. I miss that sense of excitement, and the art of conversation.
I am now thinking about blogs. I enjoy writing from time to time as a break. I write this mainly for myself, but wonder if anyone reads it.