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Reading The Human Stain

Reading The Human Stain

There’s often a moment in a good book that stands out and becomes imprinted in our mind. It’s a moment that never dies, that feels alive, despite it being fiction, and it happens over again, every time someone picks up the book to read it for the first time. Moments like Mrs. Dalloway’s pause comes to mind, Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne Eliot and practically everything Remedios the beauty does in One Hundred Years of Solitude.

I happened to come across another one of these memorable moments, while reading The Human Stain by Philip Roth, when Faunia Farley is with her crow. The “crow who really doesn’t know how to be a crow,” looking at the “woman who really doesn’t know how to be a woman.” Faunia talks to crows because she relates to them, I talk to dead writers and poets, and to whom do you turn to? Where do you go to find wisdom in this insane world?

“I sat for hours in the garden, trying not to stain the crisp white shirt I was wearing while reading The Human Stain.”

Some would say its contradictory for me to talk about sanity. I have more conversations in the daydreaming world than I do in the actual world but embracing the madness has been my mode of survival, and every time I come out of it, I feel so out of place, so worn down by the everyday and by that which, at the end of the day, is irrelevant.

I sat for hours in the garden, trying not to stain the crisp white shirt I was wearing while reading The Human Stain. This book won’t answer your questions, but if for nothing else, it will show you others who are trying to find meaning in their own insane way.

What insanity helps you stay sane?

Story credits: Philip Roth’s “The Human Stain” for the quotes and the inspiration; Woven Cami Top.

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