Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Frigate

One of my favorite Emily Dickenson poems is "There is no Frigate Like a Book."  You know the one:

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

I have a book I return to over and over again.  It isn't very high brow but it is a good story and it reminds me of one of the favorite points in my life.  I remember reading it for the first time when I was 19.  At the time I was living in Scotland in one of the most beautiful cities on earth, Edinburgh.  I had no obligations or commitments and my biggest decision was what film to catch at The Filmhouse and where to drink a pint afterwards (usually Bannerman's.)

My "frigate" is Weaveworld by Clive Barker.   I first heard of Clive Barker when he gave a talk at The Edinburgh International Book Fair.  It was relatively early in his career and he talked at length of being on the Dole while completing his first book.  He was self deprecating and funny so I bought his book. He is better know for his horror books Hellraiser and Books of Blood.  Weaveworld is more in fantasy than horror.  The story takes place in Barker's hometown of Liverpool and revolves around a world woven into a tapestry.

The cheap paperback edition I have is not in great shape.  The first twenty or so pages have detached from the textblock and the cover is abraded.  Maybe one of these days I will put my book conservation skills to work and tackle its repair.  I don't want a hardback copy or a better paperback version.  I like my worn book that has the power to transport me to another place.

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