Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Proustian moment

The other day I got The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen down from the shelf to check something. It must be years and years - maybe even decades - since I opened it and I got a surprise when I saw written inside the front cover the name of a boyfriend that I'd gone out with for a few months when I was eighteen. Above it was written 'formerly' and next to it my own mame in the turquiose ink that I used to favour in those days. I had completely forgotten that Chris had given it to me and I still can't remember the occasion. The sight of his strong and rather elegant hand-writing brought back a flood of memories. We met at the folk club in Redcar - he was a talented amateur singer - just before I went to university. He was a bit older than me and working. He gave me Miss Dior perfume for my nineteenth birthday: so sophisicated! And we went together to Whitby Folk Festival and stayed in a house high up in the town full of light and the cries of seagulls. The relationship didn't last much beyond the first term, but he was a lovely bloke and we stayed friends until he got a job that took him away from Redcar. A few years later I met his mother in the street and she told me was getting married.
I wonder if young people today give each other books to the extent that my friends and I used to. Somehow I doubt it. And convenient though ebooks are, they won't be lying on bookshelves to be discovered years later, so that someone can smile and sigh and shake their heads as I have just done over The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen.

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Blogger lyn said...

How lovely to have a memory pop up unbidden like that. I'm glad it was a happy memory. You're right about ebooks. They make lending & borrowing books difficult even though they're convenient. It's harder to say to a friend, you must read this book, if you can't push it into their hands at the same time. And of course, there are no inscriptions on ebooks.When I take a book from my shelves I often remember where I was when I read it, a physical object is necessary to hold the memory, isn't it?

Tuesday, 19 November, 2013  
Blogger Sue Hepworth said...

And why have you not told the world that STAGEFRIGHT is now available as an ebook, Christine??

Wednesday, 20 November, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Thanks so much for this, Lyn. Yes, a physical object can be a receptacle for memories in a way that a virtual one can never be. I could have written more about this and perhaps I will.

Wednesday, 20 November, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Thanks, Sue. I will!

Friday, 06 December, 2013  

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