I recently read The Narrow Waters by Julien Gracq, and it reminded me how much I’ve really struggled to put a visual to the way books studded with books, bedazzled with references and allusions, do the work they do. It’s like, instead of traversing an asteroid field of references that burn up as a lightshow in your force field, you’re bobbing and weaving in a field of black holes and being caught, momentarily, in the weakest lapping tendrils of the eddies. The excitement is in having touched, but barely escaped, the other story into which you nearly fell.
I mean, it’s a river in the book, so that would be the obvious and intended metaphor there, but I’m a huge nerd so we’re going with space.
(If it’s not obvious, I’m still at that grindstone, and my brain is just a grocery bag full of crumbled up leftover 4th of July sparklers waiting to burn for one second of brilliance when that goddamn muse comes back.)