Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Light Hidden by Darkness - Favorite Quotes


“A real book isn’t one that we read, but one that reads us.”
                                          - W. H. Auden

We all have our favorite quotations. These quotes can come from obscure to famous quoters and are found in books, magazines, movies, televisions shows, and around the water cooler at work. When we first heard or read our favorite quotes, their words and meanings resonated with us or motivated us or just made us feel good. Each person connects with different quotes for different reasons with different results, all based on our individual preference.

W. H. Auden - b. 1907 - d. 1973

One of my favorite quotes is above in red ink. This quote is attributed to W. H Auden. As a voracious reader and author of five books, this quote speaks loudly to me. When I first read this quote, I knew nothing about W. H. Auden and quite honestly, I still know very little. I have never read any of his books or poems. In researching this blog posting, I searched the answer spot, Wikipedia, and read what it said about W. H. Auden. I am going to briefly share what I found out about W. H. Auden, which you may already know...
Wystan Hugh Auden was born 21 February 1907 and died 29 September 1973. He was an Anglo-American poet, born in England and then became an American citizen in 1946. According to Wikipedia, his critics regard him as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Wow, I wish my critics considered me the 'greatest' of anything. Well, no, maybe I shouldn't wish for that... ;)

One of the great writers of the 20th Century and I have never heard of him. However, just because I have not heard of W. H. Auden does not mean a whole lot. In the 20th Century I spent my time reading college books (mostly science), archaeology books, or fictional authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Cussler, Kurt Vonnegut, and Tom Clancy. These gentleman were or are excellent and prolific writers, and all are commercially successful, but I would hazard a guess that not many people would put them on a short list for greatest writer of the 20th Century.

What did W. H. Auden write? Wikipedia stated that his work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety in tone, form and content. The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature. No wonder I have not read his books or poetry... not exactly my favorite genre.  

CLICK TO FIND Light Hidden by Darkness 

"A real book isn’t one that we read, but one that reads us."      

                                         - W. H.  Auden

This quote by Mr. Auden is quite insightful and packs a lot of punch for readers and writers in its thirteen words. I believe Auden was conveying that a real book is just not read, but that a real book actually seeks out and finds readers and connects with them through shared empathy and common experiences. The real book drags the reader into the story with its realistic settings, characters, and / or plot.  The reader and the book become one. When was the last time you read a book that had that effect on you? I would love you to say 'the last John Bradford Branney book you read', but I can only hope. ;).   
A real book knows its readers well  and interacts with them through the story or plot, believable and interesting characters, and vivid settings. When you think about it, all great books have this ironclad connection with its readers. 
From a reader’s perspective, I could not agree more with this quote. I like a real book that draws me in and pushes my interest buttons. As a writer, this must be my goal when writing my books. As a potential reader of my books, you will have to be the judge on whether I write real books or not.  

What do you think about this quote? What makes a
real book in your opinion?