Saturday, May 21, 2011

The love of words

I love words, as all who read my books and this blog will have realised by now, so I was delighted to come across this lovely passage in an autobiography of an Irish writer, Dermot Healy, with whom I have only just become acquainted:

“I disappeared from Ireland and my family. I sat by the back window of Healy’s and read Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog. Then I moved on to Dylan’s poems. The words shimmered on the paper and released themselves from the prison of the sentences they were in. They became things in themselves. A single word collected a myriad of meanings. Verbs bounded in open spaces. A noun was like a bowl of cream. It contained vast worlds. An adjective made an image infinite.”
                        (p. 58: Dermot Healy, The Bend for Home, The Harvill Press, London, 1996)

Apart from this autobiography I have read just two books by him, his latest Long Time, No See. Both are wonderfully strange and poetic. Why has he not won one of the major literary prizes yet?

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