A scene in a novel comes back to him

“A scene in a novel comes back to him in every detail, complete with the corresponding page layout, typeface, smell of glue and paper, and even the blank spaces, the punctuation, the word-break at the end of a line, with part of it hanging on by a hyphen and the balance forlornly embarking on the next line.”

from The Girl from the Chartreuse by Pierre Peju

There are sense-memories that linger from a passage that has captured my imagination: I remember the feelings it evoked, but also where I was when I read it, the scents and textures and sounds around me.  The particular edition of the book – a library hardback, a crumpled paperback – combines (for me) with a visual image of exactly where those words were on the page, the first time I read them.


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