Download A Passion for Books by Dale Salwak (eds.) PDF

By Dale Salwak (eds.)

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People who have read with love and respect understand that the larger message behind all books, great and good and even some not so good as they might be, is, finally, cultivate your sensibility so that you may trust your heart. The charmingly ironic point of vast reading, at least as I have come to understand it, is to distrust much of one's education. Unfortunately, the only way to know this is first to become educated, just as the only way properly to despise success is first to achieve it. Let me return and give all but the last word to Marcel Proust, who wrote: Our intellect is not the most subtle, the most powerful, the most appropriate instrument for revealing the truth.

The critic seems inexorably driven to abolish his own function, which is to discriminate. Indeed, this flight from the comparative cripples the critic in almost all his work. For example: the text of Shakespeare is unstable (because of pirates and bad copyists and the compressions and distortions of stage production), but if we deduce from this that all texts must be unstable, then we lose the ability to notice that some texts are more stable, much more stable, than others. Yet is the author-text-reader relationship really this undifferentiated flow of stuff?

But now I felt obliged to try, so I turned to and in four months produced a workmanlike job, mostly about my time in the army during and after the war. When published it turned out to be moderately successful, and was certainly no worse, if not greatly better, than the general run of fiction I had to read, many years later, for the Booker Prize. The point of interest is that I had joined, if inadvertently, the Gore Vidal awkward squad: those who want not to read but to write; and in so doing I was not writing as myself, the person I really was, but had invented a persona and a situation which made an excuse for putting pen to paper.

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