Friday, March 28, 2008

A Follow-up to Jitterbug Perfume

I finished Jitterbug Perfume last night. I could go on and on about the book, but instead, I'll just go on. I've never been so moved by words. I've always loved writing - have been seriously practicing since age 10 or so - and yet I was unaware of just how affected I could really be by the art. The tears flowed last night, mostly from the overwhelming beauty my mind was digesting, as I sat out on my balcony at sunset, reading. I could have finished the book off on my lunch break at work, but I didn't see fit a bustling & abrasive Hollywood Blvd. for reading those final 30 pages.

After I finished reading (as well as a few times at sections breaks) I just sat, thinking. In fact, I felt I didn't have words for awhile as my brain recapped the final farewell imagery. I think it was the best alone time I've had in awhile, if not ever; to just sit and be, after feeling so moved, as I watched the wispy clouds on the horizon turn from white, to yellow & orange, to bright pink, and then finally grey.

I want to sing praises of the book to everyone I know, but in talking about it with just a few people, I've been informed of the social stigma of the book - that it is regarded as rather cliche and associated with an intellectual pretentiousness of youths who take themselves too seriously. If you know me, you know that I definitely don't take myself very seriously. But still it disappoints me that I feel inhibited by the judgement and criticism that steals away some desire to express my marvel with this book, to everyone I know.

I spoke to someone from Seattle last night who rolled her eyes and with a sigh stated, "oh, everyone in Seattle reads Tom Robbins," as if simply mentioning the author is passe. That disappointed me - I expect that a fantastic piece of literature should be appreciated for what it is, and not shadowed by counter efforts of people who desperately want not to seem trendy...

I transcend trend :-)


MaryW said...

Stepiphany, what a beautiful post. I'm from Seattle, (back again like a salmon returning).Don't let the sceptics and smug "too-cools" skew your true instincts about Mr. Robbins. Chances are, they haven't actually read his books, or if they did, they didn't understand them. He is, indeed, extrordinary. Some people just don't "get" him. Pity those unevolved beings--maybe someday they'll catch up. Critics have rarely gotten his work--it's too outside the box for them, and doesn't follow the formulas of commerce.

Tom Robbins, soon to be 72 years old, is a rare and unique writer. I was first given a dog earred copy of Another Roadside Attraction by a stranger in the Blue Moon Tavern in the early 70s. It changed my way of seeing the world and thinking about it--my life has never been quite the same. I've read that book, as well as his other books, many times since, and have rarely been without three full sets of them--one to keep, one to re-read, and one to share.

Congratulations on your exquisitely good literary taste and enjoyment!

Love and a Seattle raindrop~


PS Darrell Bob Houston, to whom TR dedicated the epilogue in Jitterbug Perfume was an equally extrordinary spirit and writer. He died in 1984, the year the book was published.

MaryW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stepiphany said...

Hi MaryW, thanks for stopping by! It thrills me to no end when strangers stumble upon my blog and deem it worthy enough to consume some of their own time and thoughts.

I definitely intend to explore more - rather, all - Tome Robbins books in the future. The naysayers don't deter me too much, they just disappoint.

I see you have a blog that you very recently started - I'm excited to check back in and enjoy what you have to say.

Take care!

Stepiphany said...

Oh, and I'll definitely check out Darrell Bob Houston. I love getting recommendations - that's exactly why I picked up Jitterbug Perfume in the first place.