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“Devout households in India often contained, and still contain, persons in the habit of kissing holy books. But we kissed everything. We kissed dictionaries and atlases. We kissed Enid Blyton novels and Superman comics. If I’d ever dropped the telephone directory I’d probably have kissed that, too.

All this happened before I had ever kissed a girl. In fact it would almost be true, true enough for a fiction writer, anyhow, to say that once I started kissing girls, my activities with regard to bread and books lost some of their special excitement. But one never forgets one’s first loves. Bread and books: food for the body and food for the soul – what could be more worthy of our respect, and even love?

Love need not be blind. Faith must, ultimately, be a leap in the dark.

Literature is the one place in any society where, within the secrecy of our own heads, we can hear voices talking about everything in every possible way. The reason for ensuring that that privileged arena is preserved is not that writers want the absolute freedom to say and do whatever they please. It is that we, all of us, readers and writers and citizens and generals and godmen, need that little, unimportant- looking room. We do not need to call it sacred, but we do need to remember that it is necessary.

“Everybody knows,” wrote Saul Bellow in The Adventures of Augie March, “there is no fineness or accuracy of suppression. If you hold down one thing, you hold down the adjoining.”

Wherever in the world the little room of literature has been closed, sooner or later the walls have come tumbling down.

Salman Rushdie, “Is Nothing Sacred?”


I grew up kissing books and bread.
An aspiring writer, a hopeful mystic, and a musical dabbler,
I work with a literacy program in Los Angeles and pet dogs in my spare time.
I believe in living through love, peace, and goodness,
and you can get an idea of the purpose of this site here.
My name is Jayke, and I’d like to start a conversation.

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