Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Besuty and austerity …

… on Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells by Pico Iyer – On the Seawall. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 Towards the end of the book, Iyer digresses to speak of Thoreau and the confrontation with the actual. “In Thoreau there’s the snag of something tougher, as of the branches of real life,” he remarks. Thoreau, who held his dying 26-year old brother John as he died. When Iyer talks about autumn, there is the same appreciation for both beauty and austerity. “Autumn poses the question we all have to live with: How to hold on to the things we love even though we know that we and they are dying.” Do we hear this as banal? Perhaps the point is that death is banal but our hearing is rather intriguing.

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