Blood reading

The phenomenon discussed here has a corollary in my experience: when I am in a place with exactly the same sensations each time I visit it, that permits reading, I remember what I read in great detail the last time I was there. The El is the most frequent of these for me, and I often connect entire passages with the sight of whatever happened to be outside the window when I looked up. It’s as if pages from books were plastered all over Chicago.

Another example is giving blood. Just to go there is to think of everything I’ve read there. Today I was reading Phoenix, D.H. Lawrence’s uncollected prose, in this case about relations between men and women. I realized once I got there that when I was last giving, in September—I give by Alyx, which takes more red cells and puts plasma and platelets back, so that my cycle is about four months—I was reading George Scialabba’s essay about Lawrence’s sexual non-fiction, Fool for Love, which sent me looking for Phoenix in the first place.

I wonder if it’s common for thoughts and readings to be “mapped” on to physical places and repetitive experiences like this?

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One Response to “Blood reading”

  1. The Modesto Kid Says:

    Hey I Don’t Pay, have you an e-mail address? I cannot find it on your blog. (Not for want of trying.) Drop me a line — it is anacreon, in the domain of gmail.

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