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Reading as a full sensory experience

November 7, 2012

This happened:

“corrode, v.
I spent all this time building a relationship. Then one night I left the window open, and it started to rust.”

or…

“lover, n.
I have never wanted a lover. In order to have a lover, I must go back to the root of the word. For I have never wanted a lover, but I have always wanted to love, and to be loved.

There is no word for the recipient of the love. There is only a word for the giver. There is the assumption that lovers come in pairs.

When I say, Be my lover, I don’t mean, Let’s have an affair. I don’t mean, Sleep with me. I don’t mean, Be my secret.

I want us to go back down to that root.

I want you to be the one who loves me.

I want to be the one who loves you.”

Reading David Leviathan’s “The Lover’s Dictionary” — a book that explores one couple’s relationship with short (sometimes just one line) vignettes based on evocative words…traveling and exploring the world of love in short and brilliant bursts from A to Z. So, how could one NOT read this novel, in one sitting, with a bottle of Oregon Pinot A to Z. I mean. Really.

I’ve been lucky to have been loved and loved well in my life. Reading this book is an amazing reminder of the power, the luring quality, of a new, budding romance. And, swiftly — moving to the next letter — a reminder of the torture and anguish of one that is ending. I loved it and devoured it and felt myself reminiscing on all the people I can count whom I have loved and who have loved me in return and which letter reminds me of them. A bottle of good pinot will do that to you.

Isn’t this pairing divine? And hey…maybe it’s the wine…but I’ll try it too (reading as both a sensory experience AND a creative writing experience? Yes and yes, please):

Divine, adj.
You leaned in and kissed me on the cheek and whispered, “I think I’m falling in love with you. How can that be?” And you just smiled, smirked, your little dimple twinkling. “Some things are meant to be,” you said after a bit. “Some things are divinely inspired.” I nuzzled your cheek. “Are we?” I said into your shoulder and waited, with baited breath, to hear what you’d say. But you never answered. You kissed the top of my head and wound a piece of my blonde hair between your fingers, then you drifted off to sleep, leaving me with the heaviness of your body against mine and the worry that maybe you didn’t want to tell me the truth. 


Can you tell I liked this book? I did. You can buy it — I did. But you could also go to a book store, grab a coffee, sit down and devour it in less than an hour. Either option works. But I like the idea of my money rewarding Leviathan for taking a risk — he’s often a risky, experimental writer. Some people might say ‘gimmicky’ — yes, occasionally gimmicky too. But gimmicky is only bad when it doesn’t work and HERE in this book, it works.

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