Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The meaning of life

Easily found in Sebastian Faulks' book Human Traces, which I've just finished with my reading group. The book, by the way, is beautifully done, its characters rich, its historical scenes and ideas vivid as it explores what it is to be human through the lives of two head-doctors. Such a fine writer.

(Digression: The jacket warns you that this book is 'ambitious' which means in this case that two extensive chapters are given over to psychological lectures, and is thus a publisher's aide memoire to give the author smaller advances in future, so that he doesn't spend quite so much time in the library for his next book.)

The main protagonist, Sonia (wife to one shrink and sister to the other), reflects on her life and losses and still concludes:

'Was it worth it? Was it worth the agony of loss? ...

'... it was enough, because nothing in any other world that might by chance have existed could have surpassed in majesty what she had felt; and she was transfigured by that joy, always, and even beyond death.'

Love is the meaning of life; simple really.

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