Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pamuk on reading well

Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk:

"to read well is not to pass one’s eyes and one’s mind slowly and carefully over a text: it is to immerse oneself utterly in its soul. This is why we fall in love with only a few books in a lifetime. Even the most finely honed personal library is made up of a number of books that are all in competition with one another. The jealousies among these books endows the creative writer with a certain gloom. Flaubert was right to say that if a man were to read ten books with sufficient care, he would become a sage. As a rule, most people have not even done that, and that is why they collect books and show off their libraries."
That's my sharp intake of breath you hear...

(HT: Peter Leithart)

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