An Imaginary Life - David Malouf.

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An Imaginary Life - David Malouf.

Post by vera » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:46 pm

This is a novel - a fictionalised story about the exiled Roman poet Ovid. It is such a beautiful book and one that deals with themes that would appeal to many members of this forum, I am sure. It's very lyrical and probably not the best choice for anyone who prefers a full-throttle plot, but well worth checking out for those who like beautiful expression.

"The Roman poet Ovid, in exile, tells the story of his encounter with a wild boy, brought up among wolves in the snow. At first the poet assumes the role of protector to the boy; gradually, however, the roles of protector and proctected are reversed as the two form a curious and touching alliance."

And here is a quote from the book:

"I try to precipitate myself into his consciousness of the world, his consciousness of me, but fail. My mind cannot contain him. I try to imagine the sky with all its constellations, the Dog, the Bear, the Dragon and so on, as an extension of myself, as part of my further being. But my knowing that it is the sky, that the stars have names and a history, prevents my being the sky. It rains and I say, it rains. It thunders and I say, it thunders. The Child is otherwise. I try to think as he must: I am raining, I am thundering, and am immediately struck with panic as if, losing hold of my separate and individual soul, in shaking the last of it off from the tip of my little finger, I might find myself lost out there in the multiplicity of things, and never get back. But I now know that this is the way. Slowly I begin the final metamorphosis. I must drive out my old self and let the universe in. The creatures will come creeping back – not as gods transmogrified, but as themselves. Beaked, furred, fanged, tusked, clawed, hooved, snouted, they will settle in us, re-entering their old lives deep in our consciousness. And after them, the plants, also themselves. Then we shall begin to take back into ourselves the lakes, the rivers, the oceans of the earth, its plains, its forested crags with their leaps of snow. Then little by little, the firmament. The spirit of things will migrate back into us. We shall be whole."

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Re: An Imaginary Life - David Malouf.

Post by HermitLoon » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:23 pm


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Re: An Imaginary Life - David Malouf.

Post by Quinn » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:29 am

Wow, Vera. That quote is incredible. Thank you.

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