Monday, October 08, 2007

It's things like this that make life worth living

I finished Water for Elephants yesterday evening, and so I had the pleasant but difficult task last night of choosing my next book. This is my typical process:

  1. Line up all contenders on my bed.
  2. Admire their respective covers.
  3. Hold them each, one by one, to see which one feels best in my hand.
  4. Read the first chapter of each.
  5. Bury my nose in the spine and inhale a great gulping breath of New Book before returning it to the lineup on my bed.

The finalists in last night's beauty pageant were A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife, Lolita, and No One Belongs Here More Than You. They put on their bathing suits, vaselined their teeth, and tried their damnedest to convince me that they had not just beauty, but brains too. And sometime between the evening gown and talent competitions, the most glorious thing - having no bearing whatsoever on the result of the pageant, which is still being deliberated - happened. I picked up Lolita and read the first chapter, which went something like this:

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta. The tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta." And so on...

And then? Then can you imagine what happened? I picked up Firmin, and began to read:

"I had always imagined that my life story, if and when I wrote it, would have a great first line: something lyric, like Nabokov's 'Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins;' or if I could not do lyric, then something sweeping like Tolstoy's 'All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way'."

Can you believe it, that such a delicious coincidence can exist in this world? That mere minutes after reading the introductory sentence to Lolita, I was reading an introductory sentence referencing the introductory sentence in Lolita? Duuuuuuuude.

I'm not even kidding. That one little moment made me deliriously happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Last night I started reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran"... how's that for synchronicity.

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