Ten twenty five PM.
Over thirty years ago, the name of Henry James was huge at the UO English Department; but when I ask around now, hardly anyone has read his work. Last year I began rereading his Portrait of a Lady and got bogged down because I knew that no one else had any enthusiasm for James. If I could, I’d return to school in a time machine like a shot and take the class on James with Professor Hines. At least then I’d have other people around me to discuss it with; whereas in reality I feel transplanted like some anachronism of a better, more civilized time. I was never meant for living in the real world, nor was the real world meant for a person like me. I am an outcast from El Dorado, the Gilded: perhaps Arcadia, where the Golden Age lingered on and never went out of style.
Or maybe school was intellectual Toys R Us: but is the transition to the real world growing up or growing narrow and rigid and poor in imagination? Like the child who is silenced from asking questions by a parent who’s lost all curiosity. Yet in a place dark and forgotten, the same questions are on everyone’s lips.