Thursday, September 9, 2010

Watership Down Revisited

When I started rereading this book I loved so much when I was younger, I  worried that I wouldn't feel the same about it any more. I wanted to love it all over again. And I do! I still love the characters (never met better rabbits anywhere and that includes Harvey*) and I still love the story. Life is preventing me from flying through it the way I would like but I'll get there.

Here's a brief example of Richard Adams' insight and descriptive magic, from page 176 of my Avon Books edition--

The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air... We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it is utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms...
Indeed it does, sir. And so do beautiful books like this one.

*Shocking, I know.

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