book review: Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear : Katharine Weber
I read this on a trip to Vermont, which is about as far (politically and geographically) as one can get from my home state without falling into the ocean, or Canada. It was a gloriously sunny day of the sort one can only get at higher latitudes — the light seems closer, somehow; why would that be?
So I sat on a bench in the sun, gave myself a nice burn, and cried.
I also dog-eared every other page (this, in a library book. I am a terrible terrible person.)
Here’s where I say that it’s a debut novel and very very good, though a first novel from a very very good author is still a first novel; and here’s where I apologize for my rating system, which makes sense to no one but myself and places Pride and Prejudice on par with Objects (the latter is better-written); and here’s where I apologize, again, for my inability to do any justice to Weber’s writing and — is scope too pretentious a word for such an unpretentious novel? — her scope.
This is why it’s good, why Weber is good: she is not retreating. She says: horrible horrible things will happen and you will have to deal with them. You created the horror – unwillingly, unwittingly; but now it is here and it is your fault. You will live with this. You have no choice. And you will not forget, and you will do it again.
Le Guin called this “equilibrium”, capital E, which is an unwieldy and beautiful word for such a deeply nasty, treacherous goblin.
This – that creation of horror, through our essential forgetful sloppiness – is wholly selfish. And even more so, says Weber (and I agree) is that we can forget about it; we can love; and we call that love more important than the evil we’ve done.
“Benedict: you are my You.”
Oh, my god.