Pause for thought: John M. Keller

The book that waits patiently for its own ending.

Keller(1)“In literature, the reader standing at the threshold of the end of a book harbors no illusion that the end has not come – he or she can see where it finishes, the abyss the other side of the last chunk of text. Which means that the writer is never in danger of ending too soon – or if he does the reader has been so forewarned. This is the advantage a book has over a film – it is the brain that marshals forward the text and controls the precise moment of conclusion of the book, as the density of the pages thins. A film can end without you if you’ve fallen asleep or, because you can’t wait any longer to use the bathroom, slipped out of the darkness of the theatre salon, and missed it. There will never be a form more perfect than the book, which always moves at your pace, that sits waiting for you exactly where you’ve left it and never goes on without you.”

From Abracadabrantesque (2015) by American novelist and screenwriter John M. Keller, who is also the author of A Bald Man With No Hair; Know Your Baker; The Box and the Briefcase, the Moleque and the Old Man; and The First Coming of the Second Son of God. The title comes from a term coined by the French symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud.


Published by

Philip Lee

Writer and musician who tries to join up the dots.

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