the appeal of reading by meeks
January 26, 2009, 5:48 pm
Filed under: literature | Tags: , , ,

Today, reading, glazing along another short story, a jarring passage halted my brisk pace. Perhaps it was the caffine just kicking in, but I assumed a complete elevation in awareness.  Objective circumspection allowed me to wollow in how strongly my being can react to nonspecifically directed ink on a page. But therein lies the appeal of reading. Author and reader assume a hightened mono-a-mono intimatacy unrivaled in any other form of mass media, perhaps one of the many reasons for its enduring popularity in an increasingly technologically advanced society.

Without further ado the quote:

“This [contact] is what makes going to the films as much fun as going on a trip or getting drunk: In films, we come face-to-face with the other.  Everyhting is on hand to make this encounter intense.”


 This quote elicited in me one of those moments [loosely borrowed from History Boys] where the words are so poignant that you feel like they are tailered just for you; you react in wonderment that a stranger can undertsand you to that degree and that maybe you are not so alone in this world. In short, it is why readers read. (sorry for that melodramatic outburst).


No only does Pamuk capture why I love the cinema and validate my uncharacterically unthrifty willingness to drop $10 on a product that I could easily obtain (illegally) for free or within legal means for a fifth of the cost, but he idetified one as-of-yet-unidentified theme- “the pursuit of the Other”- that drives my life.  I don’t think identification of this somehow reels me closer to this Other, or that yoking is really the point at all.  I do feel the scope of my life exhale a bit in the realization that many of my interests (photography,travel, cinema, ethnoboticals, meditation) are not as disparate as originally perceived.  These types of insight make the stretch more manageable.