November 20, 2010

A Book-ish Quote

The other day at the gym, I was listening to a podcast of Eleanor Wachtel interviewing J. M. Coetzee, Nobel Prize winning author and professor of literature. One question particularly caught my attention.

EW: "You've admitted a fondness for narrative pleasure, but you're also proficient in difficult and demanding literary theory. Which kind of reading do you do, the first time you go through a book?"

JMC: "I read for the story and have no shame about that. I wouldn't want to make a distinction between pleasure on the one hand and thought or analysis on the other. In fact, the ultimate fruit, I would say, of a literary education is to produce people to whom intellectual pleasure is possible; and people who are not ashamed of reading for the story because reading for the story, to them, is not just unthinking fun, but it is an intellectual pleasure as well. Writing has everything to do with pleasure, and the kind of thinking one does about writing has a great deal to do with pleasure as well."


Yay! There are other people out there who appreciate a good story, but also like to think about it as well!

On an completely unrelated note, I also want to put a plug in for my baby sister, who recently completed her first Ironman competition. You can read about her experiences here. A bookish connection? Reading books allows us to experience things that we may never experience in real life. And since most of us will never experience an Ironman, reading my sister's experience will allow us to experience it through her.

6 comments:

Scott said...

Nice to see other book readers out there. Ever try Catch 22? Awesome book and hilarious.

http://pooreconomy.blogspot.com/

Kate said...

Scott - thanks for visiting! I've not read Catch 22 yet; it is on my always-growing-never-shrinking To-Be-Read list.

ARPmind said...

Ironman is a great sport. And I think everyone could make a try.

I think it's a kind of reading: use the body to "READ" the world, and "RESONATE" with the nature.

Kate said...

ARPmind - Many people could make a try, but most of us won't. I, for one, having watched my sister over the past year, much prefer my more balanced life to her life of working full time with training before and after and no time or energy for anything else. But I have a huge admiration for her - for setting a goal and then having the discipline to reach it.

That is an interesting analogy of sport with reading...

John Mutford said...

Entertaining. Intelligent. Never knew why it had to be one or the other.

Kate said...

John - I agree completely!