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Pickle Me This

September 1, 2008

Her reading aloud had killed

“When Lydia was alive, my grandmother seemed content with her reading; either she and Lydia took turns reading to each other, or they forced Germaine to read aloud to them– while they rested their eyes and exercised their acute interest in educating Germaine. But after Lydia died, Germaine refused to read aloud to my grandmother; Germaine was convinced that her reading aloud to Lydia had either killed Lydia or had hastened her death, and Germaine was resolute in not wanting to murder Grandmother in a similar fashion.For a while, my grandmother read aloud to Germaine; but this afforded no opportunity for Grandmother to rest her eyes, and she would often interrupt her reading to make sure that Germaine was paying proper attention. Germaine could not possibly pay attention to the subject– she was so intent on keeping herself alive for the duration of the reading.” –John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

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