the intangible mysteries of life

One would be difficult, but the short stories of Flannery O’Connor landed hard on me. You could feel within them the unknowability of God, the intangible mysteries of life that confounded her characters, and which I find by my side every day. They contained the dark Gothicness of my childhood and yet made me feel fortunate to sit at the center of this swirling black puzzle, stars reeling overhead, the earth barely beneath us.

– Bruce Springsteen

This interview with Bruce about books he’s read and loved is a revelation to me.  First of all, he’s a voracious reader (confirming my view that most of the people I’m intrigued by in this world turn out to be readers), and second of all, he evokes the power that books can have over us.  That last sentence about the stars reeling overhead just takes my breath away.


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4 Comments

  1. Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Wow, for a moment I thought I was reading your words, not his! I have a whole new level of respect for Bruce. Thank you for sharing this. That last line is spectacular.

    admin Reply:

    Amazing, right? I feel the same way. Changed how I think about him.

  2. Richard Kennedy
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    With Springsteen, I always thought there was so much more to the man than people were seeing or understanding. If you examine the lyrics in his songs, most all of which he writes, you had to think, there’s so much intuition here that I might’ve missed. He could fairly be labeled a lyric poet without exaggeration. I found the words to the songs on the album, ‘Nebraska,’ some of the most compelling he’d written up to that time.

    I read the interview in the Times Sunday Book Review and like you, I was blown back for the breadth and depth of his reading experiences and appraisals. And Flannery O’Connor wouldn’t be such a bad literary beacon.

  3. Posted December 5, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Wow! Who knew! (At first, I thought these were your words as well.)

  4. Anya
    Posted December 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    That is just beautiful– no wonder I love his songs. Thanks for posting it! 🙂