vendredi 13 novembre 2009

Why Read?

Harold Bloom's reasons:

It matters, if individuals are to retain any capacity to form their own judgments and opinions, that they continue to read for themselves. How they read, well or badly, and what they read, cannot depend wholly upon themselves, but why they read must be for and in their own interest. You can read merely to pass the time, or you can read with an overt urgency, but eventually you will read against the clock.

Ultimately we read — as Bacon, Johnson, and Emerson agree — in order to strengthen the self, and to learn its authentic interests. [...] The pleasures of reading indeed are selfish rather than social. You cannot directly improve anyone else's life by reading better or more deeply.

We read deeply for varied reasons, most of them familiar: that we cannot know enough people profoundly enough; that we need to know ourselves better; that we require knowledge, not just of self and others, but of the way things are.

Yet the strongest, most authentic motive for deep reading of the now much-abused traditional canon is the search for a difficult pleasure. [...] a pleasurable difficulty seems to me a plausible definition of the Sublime.

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