In a 2011 article Simon Van Booy stated,
“For me, I think words allow us to hold hands with strangers. They remind us that one person’s experience is everyone’s. With that in mind, to love another is to love one’s self. To insult or injure another is to insult or injure one’s self. I read somewhere that we live solely to overcome the illusion of our separateness. Stories and language allow us to live without living, and to die without dying, which is why I think the modern Holy books are rooted in language and not pictures.”
How does Van Booy convey this feeling in the novel? Do you agree?
Van Booy is both a philosopher and a poet, and both permeate the novel. Did the shorter, almost staccato, sentences and phrasing add to or detract from your reading experiences?
In another article Van Booy discusses the quote from Thich Nhat Hanah, his inspiration for the novel:
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. And I thought that was quite interesting. You know, of all the things one hears in a day, isn’t it quite wonderful that some things stick, they resonate. It’s almost like a bell, you know, you hear the chiming long after, you know, the actual note has been struck. And so for days and weeks after I considered that I was connected to everybody, even when I was stuck in traffic and not particularly happy, I thought, well, you’re connected to that person next to you, you know, the person cutting in front of you.”
Do you agree that we are all connected? Do you believe that our “contentedness” will encourage compassion? Does it work for the characters in the novel?