I'll be the first to admit it - I'm a snob. This is most especially true when it comes to nonfiction literature. I'm not snobbish in the usual way - not in the English Major way - but rather, I have certain favorites, and because they are MY favorites they are the very best and I tend to not give other bits of nonfiction a chance. It is a bit limiting, I'll admit, but on the other hand it gives me the comfort and, indeed, the delight, of revisiting the same stories over and over and finding pleasure in the familiar phrases and new insights found in the re-read.
A couple of weeks ago I picked up J.D. Salinger's Nine Stories again. Last night I read "For Esme-with Love and Squalor" and I have to say that last sentence, "You take a really sleepy man, Esme, and he always stands a chance of again becoming a man with all his fac-with all this f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact." kills me every time.
Tonight it's "Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes" which I'm sure is going to drive me nuts. Fortunately I've got the company of some good libations.
I have to say, though, (and this gets back to the snobbery) one of my favorite reasons for re-reading this book in particular is that I had the good sentiment to keep a post-it note on the title page. It was written by one of my most enduring friends while I was off at my first year of art school: "I send you good literature. A diversion - from your drawing of elegant lines."
As the month of June's trickling out, it's good to remember brilliant stories and equally brilliant friends.