catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 12, Num 5 :: 2013.03.01 — 2013.03.14



What is a book? A book is a collection of ideas. It engulfs attention. It builds and expands; it reveals and professes. It is the extension of what was before it. It is the architecture of awareness. It is the avenue of perception. It is the holy host. It breathes and swells and sends new wind into the sails of imagination. It lifts us out, up, to and fro.

It grows old and afar; stale and trite. Yet, upon our return, it reveals new elements unseen within its folds. It is always waiting with a trick up its sleeve. It is a street magician — no, rather a book is a magician who toils as a farm hand. The vegetables produced by its attentive sweat has afore been unseen.

The book is a cask; it is full of intoxication. It is an attentive barkeep willing to reign a cheer. It is an old dog licking your wounds. “There is no friend as loyal as a book,” reminds Mr. Hemingway.

While an amicable friend, the book is also a Judas, a trickster, an agent of duplicity. It tosses us a chew toy and expects us to play fetch. It snickers at our meager grasps. Yes, books are tantalizing economies.

The book is also a snarling trap, ensnaring the best of us in the chamber of its bows. After being led to the prison hollow, this book then swallows the key, flashes a grin and carries on with its merry business. There you are, trapped in the bellows of the sheets, diving further and further down the maw of the beast. Many a soul has grown grey searching in this keep.

The book, however enslaving its pages, is a soft warden. There are no bars, no guards and no cameras, no orange jump suits. Instead, the enslaving apparatus is our own imagination. The book calls forth ideas, images, worlds and skies. These are the guarding captors.

The idea is a beast of its own. Like you, it is lost in the fold of the book. The idea is an untamed beast, a Frankenstein, developed by the author. This beast now runs rampant, utterly untamed. The author has long passed away, yet the beast is still enslaved. Together these two captives — the imagination and the idea — create and dream together. Together they hash out a plan of escape. Together they breathe the fresh air of freedom. Together they create their own snarling chamber, they hire a new barkeep. Together, the idea and the imagination create their own book.

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