Monday, June 10, 2013

Well Said: What kind of head-space am I going to be stuck in now?

From my quote journal.
There exists a quality of a book that I do not have a name for; it is approached by terms like “mode” and “voice” and “the writer’s world-view”, but isn’t quite any of these. I short-hand it as, “What kind of head-space am I going to be stuck in now?” And is it one I that will enjoy being stuck in? We seek out, I think, any favorite writer’s other books, even if they are varied, in the hopes of entering that agreeable head-space again.
Lois Bujold, reviewing Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
I like that ... "head space." Of course, she is precisely right.


  1. I like this. Just as I like Bujold's head-space. I think of it as the furniture of the mind (not original to me, I think I encountered that phrase in a Josef Pieper essay back in college). It's the underlying set of assumptions and attitudes about life/man that shapes the movement and shape your thoughts take in the same way furniture arrangements shape the movement and 'atmosphere' of your home.

    In Bujold's case, I love her writing, even though I suspect that she and I have fairly different opinions on a number of things, and different 'world-views'. But I think that there is something even more fundamental that makes the furniture of her mind comfortable and familiar to me, so that when I read the interactions between Miles and Ivan, or between Miles and Mark, or Mark and Cordelia, there is a sense of recognition that is both comforting and challenging, since it comes to me associated with all of these other trappings that are less familiar.

  2. Yes. I like that. I think "head space" gets at something that "world view" doesn't quite convey, though both are useful terms.