...a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces.
Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.
Thomas Wolfe, 'Look Homeward, Angel'
I read this book earlier this summer. It's strange and unlikable, a grasping, difficult, mesmerizing torrent of words, and I had to fight to finish it. When I was reading it, I had a strong awareness of the author's roving mind reaching for something inexplicable, and now that inexplicable thing seems lodged in my own self.