reading

Remembrance of Things Past

There was a faint feeling of déjà vu every time I opened Ivanhoe and touched its rough yellowed pages. (I don’t remember where or when I bought it – it looks so old and many pages are heavily stained.) A tactile memory of a similar book I had in my hands a long time ago, in primary school maybe, struggled to be brought into the mind. Unsuccessfully, sad to say. Nevertheless, those were beautiful ‘madeleine moments’…

Apart from this, Ivanhoe brought back some of the fun and excitement I had when, as a girl, adored and read over and over again such treasured pieces as Eagles Start Flying Early, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Paul Street Boys, Pero Kvržica’s Gang, 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea... I guess I had my late father to thank for these preferences as he was, it seems, pretty enthusiastic about his first child and wanted to teach me everything he knew. To ski, to swim, to fish, to do mathematics… So, uncommonly for a girl, I grew up interested in science, in martial arts and scout troops. I always begged my sister to go outside for snowball fights (which she would not, no matter how ardently I insisted). Occasionally, I would interest myself with opening alarm clocks to see how they function. And, to this day I remained the head technician for small electronic devices in our house. I loved Pippi Longstocking’s quirky ideas and spent a great many hours implementing them, introducing them into my own life (what fun!). Still, no one can say I have not equally enjoyed Madame d’Aulnoy’s fairy tales, or Little Women, or making clothes for my Barbie dolls (well, wooden furniture too…) or cooking mud and grass, or playing dressing up games…

I haven’t thought about these things for ages and now it’s all coming back so vividly just because I touched a couple of dirty pages of an old book. 

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6 thoughts on “Remembrance of Things Past

  1. A wonderful insight into you and your life my friend. The powerful nature of books to pull us back into different times, not only in our imaginations but also in our real lives. This is truly a wonderful a Christmas gift thank you for sharing.

    1. A friend criticized me for being as reserved on this blog as I am in real life and I tried to open up a bit but.. I could have managed it better, I think.. The text is too short and ends abruptly. Maybe I’ll rewrite it one day.

      Thank you for your kind words, Ste. I appreciate it. Have a Merry Christmas!

      1. You do well for someone outside her comfort level and I salute you for being most excellent at it. Being unreserved is overrated as well. Unless you are Dan Brown…he could be more reserved about publishing his books, ha!

        1. Hahahahah! brilliant! You just reminded me of a favorite professor who used to say “he committed so many novels” for an author who wrote badly.. “why did he had to write!”.. Happy times..

  2. That’s a lovely ‘madeleine moment’ you’ve got there. Guess we’ve got your friend to thank for getting you to open up enough for allowing us the privileged glimpse into the reserved ‘you’. ;) And I also realize that I had gathered wrongly, dear eldest child. :)

    1. I was at the Winter Book Saloon (book fair) yesterday and I picked up a book and smelled it and for several seconds my memory was blocked. Then I remembered that my copy of The Name of the Rose smells exactly like it. :)

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