My reading routines are all over the place. The three or four pages of a recent novel I’ll be turning at night as I fall asleep remind me of the individual matchsticks from which a patient hobbyist can spend years constructing a skyscraper or a cathedral.
Reading T. S. Eliot, I saw the images, got caught up in the rhythms with no awareness of separation. Internalised is the word. But instead of losing myself, as happens in childhood reading, it was as if I were gaining a more intelligible sense of connection to real things.
'I was slow to read but I loved books. Even now, after a literary education, followed by years of teaching literature, and writing a dozen books, I still always look at the pictures first and save the words for later.'
'The writing usually begins with an intuition of structure and rhythm, rather than the words themselves. Even workaday pieces, like book reviews, have this primary rhythmic identity.'