"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Not Exactly Reader's Digest II

Not only are tangents in novels the product of a slower, more easygoing culture we seem to have lost, but that lazy meandering that nowadays is edited out is so good a representation of creative thought that losing it we probably risk losing certain productive habits of creative thought. We risk putting our faith in an exclusively left-brain process. We risk younger readers not understanding that the meander can be just as effective an approach to the truth. We risk neglecting to show them how to mine the resulting daydreaming (that is the brain's default setting after all), for the insights and creative inspirations it offers.

An argument for slowing down reading.


Anonymous said...

This article presented a provocative and passionate approach to the experience of literature . I was particularly struck by the writer's references to the deliberate slowing of apprehension by the use of particular combinations of vowel and consonant sounds and rhythm of language. I used to listen hard for music in language. This article makes me want to revert to old habits.


Zen of Writing said...

And I've also read books whose language made the ideas fly by so quickly that I felt the language didn't serve the author's intention. Journalists seem to have more of that problem.