Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The Riddle of Love in Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Power Book’


I always carry a book with me, especially when I spend at least one hour on the tube every day. I read at least 20-30 pages on this daily journey. However, this morning, I read and reread pages 78 and 79 of the 2001 Vintage paperback edition of The Power Book throughout my entire journey to work. Just because they capture the essence of our perpetual search for the sublime. Just because she is so right…

I will copy below some of it. None of it needs further comment.

‘… It seems that we cannot know enough about this riddle of our lives. […] Nothing could be more familiar than love. Nothing else eludes us so completely. […] My search for you, your search for me, is a search after something that cannot be found. Only the impossible is worth the effort. What we seek is love itself, revealed now and again in human form, but pushing us beyond our humanity into animal instinct and god-like success. The love we seek overrules human nature. It has a wildness in it and a glory that we want more than life itself. Love never counts the cost, to itself or to others, and nothing is as cruel as love. There is no love that does not pierce the hands and feet. Merely human love does not satisfy us, though we settle for it. […] Love is worth death. Love is worth life. My search for you, your search for me, goes beyond life and death into one long call in the wilderness. I do not know if what I hear is an answer or an echo. Perhaps I will hear nothing. It doesn’t matter. The journey must be made.’

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