Adrian Blevins: Nouns in their Habitats

Vox Populi

New Pilgrims at Tinker Creek:

I read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek for the first time when I was about fourteen years old. I don’t remember now what I thought of it. Back then, as when I’m lucky now, I responded to literature with a love so absolute it blocked even my desire to eat, or to moon over oldish boys. The glory of written English in those early days (as when I’m lucky now) stilled all but my nerves and mouth, both of which would abruptly break open, as I read, in disbelief and wonder. Good writing put me on edge, made me weepy and lost, as inept as the freshly lovesick. So I’m assuming I responded to Dillard’s book in just this way, for how could I have not? The fact that I can’t remember should not be taken as an indictment against it—please—but rather as evidence…

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