I've talked about my irrational attachment and inability to think
critically about the books of my youth, but I didn't mention a sort of
subset of that: the books that, no matter how I am feeling otherwise,
always reduce me to tears. It's almost as if it's mechanical.
Even with my now strong conviction that this excellent book is trying to play out some sort
of hidden Christian theological message, when I get to,
"and so the little Rabbit was put into a sack with the old picture books and a lot of rubbish…" it's all over. I can still read, but my eyes are not dry.
Why is that? My children don't seem to feel it. They're absorbed,
concerned, but it seems to me that there is something profoundly
connected with being older and oh-so-aware of mortality that makes it
happen. And, come to think of it, it's not just books of my youth.
don't even really like this book that much; it can seem sentimental (duh) and smarmy
(though Diana, when young, went crazy for the part about glittering
Polaris), but something about the child's being born—it just slays me,
and I have to take a break because there's a lump in my throat, and
whatever child I am/was reading to at the time will look up at me to
see what the delay is all about, and seeing me look ridiculous will
(kindly) look away till I pull myself together.
Does this happen to anyone else?