"This is the Old and New
Testament, and it might be the last copy in this part of the
"It's been a long time. I'm
not a religious man. But it's been a long time." Faber
turned the pages, stopping here and there to read.
It's as good as I remember.
Number one: Do you know why
books such as this are so important? Because they have
quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means
texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can
go under the microscope. You'd find life under the glass,
streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the
more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you
can get on a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are.
That's my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail.
The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a
quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for
Do you know the legend of
Hercules and Antaeus, the giant wrestler, whose strength was
incredible so long as he stood firmly on the earth?
But when he was held,
rootless, in midair, by Hercules, he perished easily. If
there isn't something in that legend for us today, in this
city, in our time, then I am completely insane. Well, there
we have the first thing I said we need. Quality, texture of
"Would you like to own
Faber said, "I'd give my