the contextual life

thoughts without borders

on reading

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“the novel . . . is a very poorly fortified castle. if i take an hour to read twenty pages, a novel of four hundred pages will take me twenty hours, thus about a week. rarely do we have a whole week free. it is more likely that, between sessions of reading, intervals of several days will occur, during which forgetting will immediately set up its worksite. but it is not only in the intervals that forgetting does its work; it participates in the reading continuously, with never a moment’s lapse; turning the page, i already forget what i just read; i retain only a kind of summary indispensable for understanding what is to follow, but all the details, the small observations, the admirable phrasings are already gone. erased. someday, years later, i will start to talk about this novel to a friend, and we will find that our memories have retained only a few shreds of the text and have reconstructed very different books for each of us.”

the curtain : an essay in seven parts, milan kundera ©2005


Written by Gabrielle

September 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Posted in books

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