The gesture was anachronistic and uncalled-for; I am not an eminent Victorian (nor otherwise eminent).  But over the years a number of works had accumulated which were interrelated, and it was a way of pulling things together and getting closure.

My dream is that someday Ph.D. candidates will get tired of writing about Proust's Search for Lost Time and discover these volumes, which, though they belong to certain genres and are not fiction, share some overarching themes and an underlying story. 

I see this oeuvre as having a kind of radial symmetry, though I am not quite sure which of the six books is at the center.  Perhaps the Collected Poems, which are mostly a running record of inner experience from the 50's to the second decade of the twenty-first century (though in recent decades I branched off into liturgy and political commentary).  Or maybe The Time of the Other, which relates the central encounter of this life in the form of textual analysis.  Soul's Evidence is also about this encounter but places it in the context of external events (the cultural changes of the 60's and after); The Web of What is Written is about several works of modern literature (including Proust) as stories related to mine.  A Handbook of Macropoetics is a collection of essays and poems summarizing the conclusions I drew from my experiences for the profession of literature, poetry especially. Finally, in The Consciousness of Earth, a blank verse epic, I tried to place all this in the broadest possible context -- the story of humans' interaction with the planet. 

Or to put it poetically:


I had to see those volumes in a row
Before I could go out and shut the door
On where I’ve lived these forty years and more.
Shall anyone, I wonder, ever know
What’s clasped between these covers – what strange woe
And stranger joy, and what a varied store
Of conversations with the bards of yore
Beside the present crater’s fire-glow?

Faces of friends, landscapes marred and pristine,
Seasons, and all earth’s undreamt generations,
Scrying of others’ scrolls, whereon was seen
Some kindred pattern; laments, expostulations,
Things that were never, and that long to be –
All these at least the Eye that sees all things must see.
                                         (published in Voices Israel)

What now?  Mostly I'm trying to learn to write in Hebrew. 

                                                                  Esther Cameron