Tuesday, July 02, 2013

It's harder when you're old

One of the things I've noticed about being old - did I tell you I've just turned seventy? - is how hard it is to avoid the company and conversation of those who only want to talk about their ailments and their holidays. Lacking curiosity about the first, and having little appetite for the second, can put you at a social disadvantage. 

Which is why we started our own Book Group.

I've always been a non-fiction type myself but in the group we have been mostly reading novels. I'm presently convalescing after a bout of exposure to Erin Morgenstern's 'The Night Circus'. Reading it I found was like being caught up in a magical whirlwind. As with the circus of the book, leaving it you are left wondering whether the dream is on the inside or the outside.

Some religious traditions seem to recognise that the external world may be hallucinatory. European philosophers of the Enlightenment acknowledged as much. The imaginative work of writers like Morgenstern awaken us to a strange reality we too easily take for granted.

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