Learning from books

It’s obvious why Camus’ The Plague came to my mind at the weekend: “[Rieux] … knew … that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years…”

IMG_4288I read it again quickly in the past couple of days & flashed back to being so gripped by it as a young teen that I stayed up into the night reading it. As I finished, I noticed a blister on my arm, and ran to my bemused mum calling out that I had the plague. In the unheated house we lived in, we went to bed with cylindrical metal hot water bottles stuffed into old socks, & I’d failed to notice mine burning me through a hole in the sock. At that age, and being so literal minded, I didn’t spot the book’s metaphorical meaning….. As Camus says, there is much we can learn from books, if we pay attention.

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2 thoughts on “Learning from books

  1. You must have been among the better off, we were obliged to mend old socks. As for metal hot water bottles this was extreme, most had flattish rubber ones. They often leaked but better a warm wet bed than a cold dry one. How times change.

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