Thursday, January 3, 2008

It was all there waiting for him

It was absurd, but underlying his experience of the world, at some deep precambrian stratum, was the expectation that someday--but when?--he would return to the earliest chapters of his life. It was all there--somewhere--waiting for him. He would return to the scenes of his childhood, to the breakfast table of the apartment off the Graben, to the oriental splendor of the locker room at the Militarund Civilschwimmschule; not as a tourist to their ruins, but in fact; not by means of some enchantment, but simply as a matter of course. This conviction was not something rational or even seriously believed, but somehow it was there, like some early, fundamental error in his understanding of geography--that, for instance, Quebec lay to the west of Ontario--which to no amount of subsequent correction of experience could ever fully erase. He realized now that this kind of hopeless but ineradicable conviction lay at the heart of his inability to let go...

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

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