On breaks I go into my book-closet and smoke cigarettes and read passages from this or that book, as if to find something that might ease whatever disquiet I harbour.
There was a time after I finished Natalia Ginzburg's novel All Our Yesterdays when I couldn't read another book. It was that good. A great novel, at least for me, will remind the reader of the moral and ethical questions that haunt their life. So much of the time, you bury these questions under some dark earthen cairn in your mind so that you can go on and do the endless, small tasks required of you every day. But then a book may, in the conflicts and situations confronted by its characters, summon that hidden part of your self. How would you feel, how would you respond, how would you act, if these circumstances were your own? Many of the novels I love ask: what is an honourable life?