Reading is a most curious and fantastic act. The recognition of ink blots set in a certain pattern on a page, the training to decode those blots (often beginning barely out of infancy, before the basic biological function of controlled toileting is even mastered!).
The oft-times visceral response to those blots as we piece them together, run them through our interpretive sieve, and then find ourselves engaged, body and soul, with the stories they tell.
This ability of the written word to transport us out of time, into another world, another circumstance, another set of characters for whom we come to have a deep regard—if not love—this is an astonishing and even miraculous thing, is it not? It makes me want to sing to the heavens in praise of our brains. (And sometimes wail in despair at their misbegotten use…)
Recently I was reading a magazine article on the novelist Philip Roth and his relationships...Read More