Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Between the Sheets

The Walrus, one of the finest publications to come out of Canada, has a story about the intimacy of reading and how you should resist the lure of book clubs.

From the piece...

Which brings us back to the intimacy of reading. Consider something even as silly and modest as this article: I’m in your head right now. You have graciously allowed me to slip inside the private sphere of your consciousness, if only for a few minutes. (It’s like a twist on that hoary babysitter horror movie: The voice is coming from inside your head! ) This is very different from how we experience any other kind of art: no matter how much you enjoy a painting or revel in a symphony, there’s not a sense that the painter has hijacked your eyes or the composer has hijacked your ears. The writer, though, hijacks your thoughts. (Hello! Hello! — I’m making you say that right now.) Have you ever found that after reading a writer with a particularly musical cadence your own thoughts echo those rhythms for days? The experience of reading so closely mimics the process of consciousness that it attains a unique level of artistic intimacy. Great art permeates the barrier of consciousness; reading obliterates it. It literally happens inside you. How’s that for intimate?

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