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.