[LMB] Touchstoning

Elizabeth Holden alzurite at gmail.com
Wed Jun 9 16:48:50 BST 2021


> Sometimes, out of the blue, I get the urge to reread a particular
> scene in a book - usually one of Lois's.
> Sometimes it leads to a whole reread, but often it's just that scene,
> even when I know it so well I can practically recite it. I just need to
> read it again.

I do that too. I find certain writers lead me to it - Lois, is one, Dorothy
Dunnett another. It's the sign of the really best. Especially doing it
until the scene is memorized.... and then doing it again.Just for the
emotional pleasure.

Examples of scenes I do it with:

- the meeting of Cordelia and Aral in Shards of Honor
- Cordelia in the mountains in Barrayar. And the Shopping Trip scene.
- Many of the Gregor scenes in The Vor Game
- Miles' dilemma in Memory
- the death of Aral

...so you can tell I'm a bit of a high-emotion junkie.

> But we need a word for that urge to reread a specific scene.

> John: Faviterating.
> The general activity is comfort-dipping or -browsing, but in this more
> purposeful, not to say compulsive, return to a very well-known scene,
> is an iteration of particular favourites. One might also say touchstoning,
> but it has more dubious echoic affinities with lapidation.

I like touchstong better. It sounds more visceral.


Elizabeth Holden <azurite at azurite.ca>


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