New PDF release: A Passion for Books

By Dale Salwak (eds.)

ISBN-10: 0230374514

ISBN-13: 9780230374515

ISBN-10: 1349403318

ISBN-13: 9781349403318

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If we don't manage it, if the whole premise of the play thereby comes to seem baffling or a little silly, then I would prefer to say that we had not got the hang of the play, rather than that we were reading it 'differently'. A translation or a stage production of Chekhov that blurs the irony or exaggerates the sentimentality is simply mistaken; so is an excessively religiose interpretation of Kafka. Indeed, it is the critic's task to show us why the people who make these mistakes are mistaken.

R. Leavis. If exposed too rawly, it can offend, even shock. I once declared that I had read so much about Elizabeth Taylor that actually having an affair with her wouldn't add much. This bewildered the old friends whom I was talking to (quite bookish people themselves); for years afterwards, they referred to my declaration with a mixture of derision and disbelief. It is, I suppose the bookman's version of Plato's cave, lived experience a mere shadow-show against the eternal reality of books. I can still remember, at roughly the age I read Animal Farm, the first thrill of the thought that books lived longer than the people who had written them.

Why did he write The Pleasures of Reading 17 like this? And how did one write like that? I pictured the man as a raging demon, slashing with his pen, consumed with hate, denouncing everything American, extolling everything European or German, laughing at the weakness of people, mocking God, authority. What was this? I stood up, trying to realize what reality lay behind the meaning of the words.. . Yes, this man was fighting, fighting with words. He was using words as a weapon, using them as one would use a club.

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A Passion for Books by Dale Salwak (eds.)


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