As readers, we spend our lives trying to see the world from other perspectives. We seek to feel as others feel, as they have felt—all of those people across time and place whom our own lives will never allow us to meet.
It’s inevitable. Every time I walk into a bookstore, I find myself longing to buy stacks of books—and I don’t mean stacks of just any books. My great desire has always been to leave the store with copies of books that I already own. I want reading copies. I want pristine copies. I want editions with different introductions, American editions, English editions, French editions. Then I want a few more copies just in case, the kind to give away when the right reader comes along.
Kevin Rabalais revisits Zbigniew Herbert.