Fulcrum Books

Lughnasa                                   Waning Grandchildren Moon

Fulcrum books.  An idea I’ve been playing with for the last couple of weeks or so.  A fulcrum book (my definition) changed the course of your life, altered a point of view or opened a new world for you.  I have several that fit that definition, among them:  War and Peace, The Trial, The Glass-Bead Game, Steppenwolf, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Ovid’s Metamorphosis, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Mists of Avalon.  There are more, too, many more I imagine if I go back through my reading history with some care and I intend to do just that.

A fulcrum book has found a place to set that lever that can move a world.  In The Trial, for example, the givenness of bureaucracy began to shift for me.  It was as if the earth had moved.  Not only was bureaucracy inhuman whether at the high school or college, the social security office or the corporate offices of industry, it was also silly.  Absurd.  Poor K, trying forever to get through the doors into the house of justice as Kafka’s fable, Before the Law, suggests.  Then, K, dying, in his own words, “Like a dog.” without a trial or mercy.  Never again would I assume that the force of a bureaucracy was unquestioned and unquestionable.  The Trial also pushed me, along with The Stranger, another fulcrum book for me, to search for my own meaning, make my own path.

More on fulcrum books later.