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May 11, 2012

"When I was a child I read books. My reading was not indiscriminate. I preferred books that were old and thick and dull and hard."

"Idaho society at that time at least seemed to lack the sense of social class which elsewhere makes culture a system of signs and passwords,
more or less entirely without meaning except as it identifies groups and subgroups.... I must say too how beautiful human society seems to me, especially in those attenuated forms so characteristic of the West—isolated towns and single houses which sometimes offer only the merest, barest amenities: light, warmth, supper, familiarity. We have colonized a hostile planet, and we must staunch every opening where cold and dark might pour through and destroy the false climates we make, the tiny simulations of forgotten seasons beside the Euphrates, or in Eden." -- Marilynne Robinson, "My Western Roots"

Posted by gerardvanderleun at May 11, 2012 10:00 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

we must staunch every opening

She means "stanch," but beautiful writing nevertheless.

Not necessarily O/T to her points: Women's suffrage in the U.S. took off first in the western states and territories, and for similar reasons: the relatively classless and common-sensical simplicity and directness of western life. You were first and foremost what you brought of yourself to the table of life on the plains, and everything else was secondary. Men of the West were more secure in their masculinity than men of the East.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at May 11, 2012 1:36 PM

I just now had time to read this all the way through. Time well spent, and thank you again, Mr. Vanderluen.

Posted by: TmjUtah at May 17, 2012 5:32 PM

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