Sunday, November 04, 2007

QUOTE | That Lust Which Rages In the Breast Like a Demon

She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled save by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books. This passion is more common, and more powerful, than most people suppose. Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dope-taker in pursuit of his drug. They may not want the books to read immediately, or at all; they want them to possess, to range on their shelves, to have at command.

~ Robertson Davies (1913-1995)

Psst - I think he's onto us.

7 comments:

jenclair said...

What a great quote! Are we afraid we will find ourselves without books at some point?

Dark Orpheus said...

I think it's an anxiety with book fiends - kind of like OCD - what if one day we're stuck somewhere with nothing to read?

The thought of being stuck on a long flight with crying babies and nothing to read, honestly scares me.

stefanie said...

Fantastic quote! You are right, he is onto us.

precious said...

wow. where did u find the quote

Dark Orpheus said...

Stefanie I love madness implied in bookish passions. :)

Precious Robertson Davies is fun, isn't he? It's from "Tempest-Tost."

I'm definitely going to tackle The Salterton Trilogy next year. With The Cunning Man.

precious said...

ah. the salterton trilogy. i have it. but haven't read it yet. on the one hand, i don't want to have read all his trilogies and run out of surprises. (same reason i saved a two-volume louis cha novel for later - heaven knows when, actually.) on the other hand - all these promises you make yourself, the surprises you save, after a while, you forget and the books just sit on your shelf, unread.

Dark Orpheus said...

precious That is what I am always afraid of -- all the promises I make to myself, and then after too long, I forget. Until one day I stumble upon them again, and I wonder, how could I forget?