Thursday, August 6, 2009

The last book's page

Just finished a book.

I don't know how you feel when you finish reading a book. It's always very hard for me, almost religious. I don't want to spoil that moment. I read slower. I read the ending twice and try to stay "in it" as long as I can. I hate goodbyes.

It's been 4 years now that I haven't read a book in French. Don't think I have something against French literature, it's just that something is missing when I go back to French after having experienced the reading of a book in English. I expressed why in my previous post.

Ok, it's not the only reason. I "met" an author 4 years ago. I met her writing, her recurrent themes, her characters, even herself through her non-fictionnal essays.

Her name is Siri Hustvedt.

I love reading, I deeply do. And I've never, ever read something like this before, so true, strong, moving, sensual, intelligent... The first book I read was "What I loved" and the last one, the one I finished 10 minutes ago is "Sorrows of an American". Between those two I've read each book she wrote, each essay.

Discovering links and references between her books is something wonderful, as if I was sharing a small and silent secret with the author. The day I saw her last book (the one I finished) in the bookstore's front window, bought it and began reading in the street, I wrote a poem about it, it's prose. I never put one of my poems on the internet but well, that's the perfect time so, here it is :

This book
Like a piece of soul
Added to mine
Through the front window
I imagine its smell
And the taste of words
Slowly I will swallow
The summer sun is halfway so I walk
And I meet the first page
Whiter than my thoughts

Writing about what I love in her books would take more than a post but I wanted to say that she plays a great part in my growing love for this language. Reading her books is like having a second, parallel life. Now that this book is over, I feel something like grief, no daily meetings with the characters anymore. I'll miss them.

I was in the subway when I finished it.
The last sentence will echo in me for some time.


  1. Thank you, Louise. I must make an effort to stir from old I will look for Siri Hustvedt's books as a start.
    I have become marooned in non fiction lately..French and U.S. involvement in looking for something with which to engage emotionally will be pick me out of my rut.
    A super post expressing the inspiration you received and give.

  2. Thank you for this comment !
    I do hope you'll love this book. Her previous book "What I loved" was as good as this one.
    I myself was reading non fiction for a few months now ("The Shock Doctrine" lately) and needed to go back to fiction just like you !

    Again thank you !

  3. I love reading too, it is therefore said that books are a person's best friend. Books cannot betray and never hurt you knowingly. I hope your savour the moment for time to come.

  4. 幸福是人人都要,又怎麼可能都歸你所有?要知道這世界幸福本來就不多........................................

  5. Aw I love the way your expressed your emotions for your favorite author and her writings in this post. Also your poem is beautiful. It shows the way your feel for literature and in a way tribute to your favorite author.
    Thanks for sharing this
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