Literature reminds us that we should never be afraid to look at something as though we’re witnessing it for the first time, however well we think we know it. This is one reason great books offer endless company and sanctuary. Each expedition into them reveals new vistas: the book becomes more intelligent as we grow alongside it.
“There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were nor how it was changed nor with what difficulties nor what ease it could be reached. It was always worth it and we received a return for whatever we brought to it.” —Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
When faced with the unfathomable, we look to great writers to articulate how we feel and what we should do. We ask—we expect—them to carry the weight and to lighten it into something beautiful that transforms an event though a new understanding. An impossible task that writers surprise us by doing over and over and over.