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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, April 10, 2006

music and memory

More lying in the dark after waking from dreams just before 3:00 a.m. I dozed just before the alarm went off at 5:30, then lay in bed, feeling heavy and sleep-ready as Kimmie bustled to the bathroom, radio playing. I could hear the music faintly through my earplugs. I pulled out the plugs when I recognized a song as one I enjoyed, even though I couldn't identify it. With the orange foam plugs out I could tell right away: "Avalon" by Roxy Music.

I was launched back through time to 1982, after I had returned from my solo trip to Europe and Africa. I remember walking up 4th Avenue in the cool steely light of late afternoon in October, in search of a birthday present for my sister Mara. The street and sidewalks were busy as ever on the slope up from Burrard Street, with music floating into the gray air from boutiques and restaurants. I was enveloped in a sense of solitude in my home city, and Bryan Ferry's introspective voice in the evocative, shifting mist of the music expressed my mood.

Now the party's over
I'm so tired
Then I see you coming
Out of nowhere...

Up. Up from the wooden platform of bed and into the still-dark of morning and a new week.

Over the weekend I went on a book binge at two separate Indigo stores--North Vancouver on Saturday and the Robson store in Vancouver yesterday. The total haul of books:

  • House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger
  • Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama
  • Synaptic Self by Joseph LeDoux
  • Rogue State by William Blum
  • The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose

Yesterday, since Fukuyama mentioned Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in the opening part of his book, and Kimmie expressed an interest in it after I told her what it's about and why it's famous, we got a copy of that too.

Slow going today. Only a few notes: dry. Low in ideas.

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