The labyrinth is a Gothic metaphor for the inescapable darkness within us. It’s every shameful thing you’ve ever done, and that has been done to you. It’s your lies and secrets, your fears, your nightmares. It’s heartache and melancholy and all the things too terrible to put a name to, every black thought, every hateful word. The labyrinth is our knowledge that the world is broken. Irreparable.
I’ve read a lot of pretty naff ‘coming-of-age’ novels that try to convince readers that adulthood lies beyond the labyrinth, as though when you reach a certain point of maturity the foggy confusion of youth will clear and the right path will light up before you. Well, I’m twenty-five and still waiting, and the older I get, the more I’m convinced that no one ever really escapes the labyrinth, not alive anyway.
But we’re not alone in the labyrinth. We have family, friends and lovers walking beside us. Even if we find ourselves sometimes alone, there are always points of light—uncontrollable bursts of giggles, conspiratorial smiles, drunken dancing, moments of epiphany, first kisses and warm summer afternoons that yawn into the night. There are poems, pictures, photos, films and plays that commiserate with us, inspire us and remind us what it means to be human. There are those special songs whose rhythms make our blood sing. And there are books.
There’s nothing a good book can’t get me through. And that’s why I started this blog. I wanted make a record of those books that act as my lights in the labyrinth, whether it be because they expand my thinking, allow me to escape, or because they are simply dazzling.
Who am I? http://www.margotmcgovern.tumblr.com
Questions? Comments? Need a suggestion for a good book, or want to recommend something to me? Even if you just want to put out a ‘hey there,’ scribble me a note here, and I’ll get back to you!
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