ABOUT BOOKS No.1.
On a freezing winter afternoon, looking over the fields only gives the view of swirls of fog pushing into the garden, over the gate and into the apple tree.
Last year, I bought Vol.1. of Walter Benjamin’s Selected Writings 1913-1926 and have been reading his essay on ‘A glimpse into the world of Children’s Books’ which is extraordinarily interesting. In the middle of this essay there is an absolutely lovely nursery rhyme from an old German picture book, ‘Steckempferd und Puppe’ (Stick-Horse and Doll) by J.P. Wich.
This rhyme tells of all the things a little child sees in a town and, in particular, how the child sees a cat. The rhyme ends with the enchanted child thinking what a lovely little place the town is and, ‘I’ll make a note of that.’ There are many such lovely little places and, whenever I find myself in such a town, like the child in the story, I, too, ‘make a note of that.’
I do wonder who else but Walter Benjamin would introduce an essay on children’s books with this quotation –‘A soft green glow in the evening red.’ by C.E.Heinle, but this is the thing about books and writers. They bring such joy and delight with them.