Thursday, April 22, 2010

Running with Elif (The Possessed)

This morning I was running through Central Park and as I was coming around the top of the hill that marks the final third of my route I saw this young man in front of me. He was running, too. Then he started to speed up, then he suddenly leapt over this small wooden fence, pushing his arms to the side and his legs forward. It should have looked awkward but it didn't. It looked graceful, and it looked fun. I plodded along behind him, and he did it again. And again. And again. My legs were tiring and he was circling his arms and throwing himself into the air. I thought to myself, "He's running like Elif Batuman writes. She moves along, moves along, moves along and then Zow! The Leap. It's elegant, it's unnerving, sometimes, it's fun." At least this is how I felt about Batuman's book The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, which I finished last night. Read, read, read...Jump! I recommend it.

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