Friday, October 14, 2011

Squeaky Symbols

In Tibor Déry’s “Niki: The Story of a Dog” (New York Review of Books Classics), Niki destroys a ball. Déry writes:

A few days later only fragments of the ball remained and these, one by one, were lost under this or that article of furniture. But the last shred of rubber left to her, although no bigger than a man’s thumb, still enabled Niki to fly into a passion of furious action as wild as when the ball was supple and brand new: she bit it and tore it and ripped it up for the hundredth time. It may be that, thanks to this anecdote, the reader will understand henceforth how symbols in religion and popular poetry are born.

The way I see it? Symbols—and abstractions, perhaps even metaphors—are born of balls.

For the record: I did not destroy a ball, but I did cause terminal squeaky damage to the squeaky toy in the picture.

P.s. Happy birthday to my hero: writer Lance Olsen!
P.p.s. Buon compleanno e tanti Auguri a Lance Olsen, uno scrittore fantastico!

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