Sunday, 2 February 2020

The Strangeness of Grief by V. S. Naipaul

Recent essay in The New Yorker on the mourning of family members and beloved cats...

"The vase stayed with me for years. I drew it often, and sometimes attempted—more difficult, this—to render it in watercolor. Because of this detached study, it became in the end only an object, without associations; the grief of which it once spoke so directly was rubbed away, like the grief itself, though that stayed with me so completely and for so long, waiting to be recalled, that I was able, some years later, during the writing of my first novel, a comedy, very light (but full of anxiety for me), to transfer much of the episode (beginning with the telegram) to that quite different book, in a concealment and sublimation of grief."

"We are never finished with grief. It is part of the fabric of living. It is always waiting to happen. Love makes memories and life precious; the grief that comes to us is proportionate to that love and is inescapable."

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