for that single moment we love them ever after

I’m rereading a collection of Bruno Schulz’s writing. It’s dense, lyrical, strange. I had to type up this section below about the reading experience. This reminds me of certain experiences as a young reader, or being an older listener to music of my youth, music that had seemed vital, but only feels frail and false now.

From Bruno Schulz’s Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass:

Leaning over that Book, my face glowing like a rainbow, I burned in quiet ecstasy. Engrossed in my reading, I forgot my mealtimes. My intuition was right: this was the authentic Book, the holy original, however degraded and humiliated at present. And when late in the evening, smiling blissfully, I put the script away in the bottom of a drawer and hid it under a pile of other books, I felt as if I were putting to sleep the dawn that emits a self-igniting purple flame.

How dull all my other books seemed!

For ordinary books are like meteors. Each of them has only one moment, a moment when it soars screaming like the phoenix, all its pages aflame. For that single moment we love them ever after, although they soon turn to ashes. With bitter resignation we sometimes wander late at night through the extinct pages that tell their stone-dead messages like wooden rosary beads.

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