I have been reading.
This is quite possibly one of the most moving and sublime books I have read in a long time. It is not an easy read, by any standard. It requires of it’s reader to think and participate, unlike much of the pulp trash that gets published these days that are nothing short of wannabe screenplays.
This enduring story is about a concierge in a Paris Apartment block, a twelve year old child on the fifth floor, and a new neighbour. It is about hiding our true identities, playing the roles we assign ourselves in the everyday, and believing in an ideal beyond ourselves.
But first, here’s just a sample.
This is the first time I have met someone who seeks out people and who sees beyond … We never look beyond our assumptions and, what’s worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves. We don’t recognise each other because other people have become our permanent mirrors. If we actually realised this, if we were to become aware of the fact that we are only ever looking at ourselves in the other person, that we are alone in the wilderness, we would go crazy. When my mother offers macaroons from Ladureé to Madame de Broglie, she is telling herself her own life story and just nibbling at her own flavour, when Papa drinks his coffee and reads his paper, he is contemplating his own reflection in the mirror, as if practising the Coué method or something; when Colombe talks about Marian’s lectures, she is ranting about her own reflection; and when people walk by the concierge, all they see is a void, because she is not from their world.
As for me, I implore fate to give me the chance to see beyond myself and truly meet someone.