Nino Ricci’s the Origin of Species reminds me of how sloppy human feelings are. We make decisions then change our minds. We make mistakes and run from those mistakes. We do good, we do bad. Alex, the book’s main character, is not a bad person. But is he a good one? The phrase that comes to mind is ‘…things are never black and white.’
I once dreamt that I had died; I was killed in an explosion. Just before I died, I remember being excited about my death. I was ready for it. I felt like all the answers to the ‘big questions’ would become clear to me. I’d finally know the purpose of life and I would be awesome like Hugh Jackman’s character when he became enlightened in the movie ‘The Fountain’. And even though I was dreaming I felt that when I woke up, whatever insight I had found in my dream death, I would have in my waking life. I wanted death because I believed I was on the brink of some great knowledge that had eluded me all of my 22 years. But of course I passed and nothing happened. No zap or jolt of power or knowledge. I didn’t shine, my eyes didn’t become bright with wisdom and all that hoopla. I did float though, but that’s beside the point. What I want to zone in on is that feeling of being on the brink of something important; of acquiring the state of mind that will change you for the better. That is the feeling that plagues Alex.
The above excerpt is from Versia Harris’ review of Nino Ricci’s The Origin of Species, this week’s addition to the Fresh Milk Books Tumblr – the online space inviting interaction with our collection in the Colleen Lewis Reading Room.
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