From time to time, I think about the section in Speak, Memory where Nabokov talks about recurring motifs in one’s life. The way things crop up again and again. I like to look for these milestones/patterns, on a large scale and a small scale.
For instance – on a small scale – Orlando. A few months ago, I read an interesting interview with Tilda Swinton (which I linked to here for some other purpose). The interview covered ground including the film adaptation of the book in which she starred in the title role, and I made a note to myself: buy that book. So I did. Then I buried it on my to-be-read shelf, where it’s languished for some time now.
Last month, I got course descriptions for the MFA program, including one on gender and sexuality. Of course Orlando was on the list. I should read that, I thought to myself. I painted my spare room two weekends ago, which required the reorganization of one of my bookshelves. And there it was, Orlando. A really great edition, too, orange and trade paperback-sized.
But again I put it off. I’m interested in writing YA at some point, so I read the anti-Twilight, Hunger Games. I’ve started Let the Great World Spin, which I’ve temporarily set aside to read Forster’s Aspects of the Novel, in which Woolf has already come up more than once, in just two – is it weird to say lectures? Because that’s how the book is organized.
Anyhoo, yesterday morning, this. Gorgeous. So I’m back to Orlando. It’s coming off the shelf and onto the bedside table, where its proximity will inspire me to actually read it. Obviously, it’s time.