sea/sun

essential reading for the summer daze

Albert Camus: A Happy Death

So the school holidays began last week, which means that for many summer is really only beginning even though if I’m honest, I feel the heart of summer has already passed. The first time it’s properly hot and sunny you fall under a kind of madness; a kind of desperation when every moment is so bloody precious (especially working 9-6 with a forty five minute bus journey each way), and it’s really, really great. But the minute it’s not quite so hot and bright any longer it’s also kind of a relief, because living that way is exhausting.

Nevertheless – like I said, for some summer is only really beginning. So it’s the season of what they call ‘jetting off’ and holiday reading, which is of course the topic of this post. My essential summer read is A Happy Death by Albert Camus, and I’m going to tell you why.

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a memory of summer in winter

déjà-vu

Sometimes the middle of winter can seem more like summer than the summer ever did. In a moment or fragment of a moment when a smell or a sound or when the certain way that light is falling releases a disconnected memory which floats to the surface like a bubble, and then it would feel like the summer.

And you pause a while, caught wondering, but the memory isn’t even a memory but only the sense that there was a memory, and that you have known this once before. And by the time you’re realising or rememering this, the moment has already departed, and it no long feels like the summer, and the sun is setting.

But the moment seemed realer and bigger than all the summers passed, and you’d remember it, and you’d spend your life trying to remember it again.