One night when he was still a young man, the headmaster dreamed that he had died, and had arrived to that next world. When it was the headmaster’s turn to appear before the divine throne, the Holy Cone took him by the hand and brought him to a small door. The door opened, and the headmaster found himself in a luminous room filled with books: shelves and tables loaded with books, manuscripts,to high stacks all over the floor. The headmaster looked around the secret library and smiled. He was sure this room was the place that had been reserved for him in paradise. But as he reached to take a volume off the shelf, the divine hand suddenly grabbed his shoulder and held him back.
“These are all the books you were supposed to write,” The Holy One said, “Why didn’t you write them?”
– The World To Come, Dara Horn
Pretty much, this.
Since I’m desperate for literature, I picked this book up on the cheap a few weeks ago. While much of it was okay, this passage meant a lot to me. Whether you believe in Heaven or Hell (or any combination thereof) this is an interesting passage…and motivation to get back to some new fiction.