Friday, June 24, 2011

"youre carrying it inside you" - Riddley Walker

"The worl is ful of things waiting to happen. Thats the meat and boan of it right there. You myt think you can jus go here and there doing nothing. Happening nothing. You cant tho you bleeding cant. You put your self on any road and some thing wil show its self to you. Wanting to happen. Waiting to happen. You myt say, 'I dont want to know.' But 1ce its showt its self to you you wil know wont you. You cant not know no mor. There it is and working in you. You myt try to put a farness be twean you and it only you cant becaws youre carrying it inside you. The waiting to happen aint out there where it ben no mor its inside you."

I've just this minute finished reading Riddley Walker and it's astonishing (also, how did anyone read it before LOLspeak was invented?). It's perfect to read after reading Margo Lanagan, for some reason - she's like a mythological primer for Hoban's creation.

You don't read this book in the usual way (as you can probably tell from the quote above). You apprehend it, you hear it. It takes a degree of relaxation of your mind. It demands to be read for hours at a time, not pages. It's not a book you can read with your eye half on Twitter or your child or your lunch.

And it's completely worth the effort, the reservation of your hours, and the displacement of how you usually read.


ernmalleyscat said...

A friend lent it to me and I got lost in it back about 1983.
The language taunted and lured me for quite a while until I knew it.
Not long after I had finished it in a rush of the last few chapters Russell Hoban came to Sydney and I got to see and hear him read from and talk about it. It was a double bill with Salman Rushdie with Midnight's Children and two minutes walk from my house.
It was magic.

Colleen said...

Hmm, ditto, kinda, I was given this book as a birthday present in '94 and after several attempts then (pre SMS speak) I gave up. But reading that quote now (post SMS) was a lot easier! Might have to go back to it.