Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

You've said that many people misread literature.
Can you explain what you mean?
Misreading comes in when people are unable to see what's going on in a novel because they focus on the wrong things. I'm thinking of people who want to have my books banned, particularly The Diviners.
A lot of those people not only admit to the fact that they have not read the book, they are proud they have never read it. Their eyes are blind to everything except the few sexual passages and some of the so-called swear words.
That's a sad and tragic way of reading a book. That kind of reader doesn't want to read.
To put it in its broadest sense, the motives are not of love but of hate.
-- Margaret Laurence --

Have a great Wednesday!


Merisi said...

T: So increasing awareness is itself a political act.
LAURENCE: Yes, I think so. Otherwise I would not be writing novels.

T: You once wrote, "What I care about is trying to express something that, in fact, everybody knows but doesn't say." Do you think Canadians might be especially dishonest with themselves?
LAURENCE: No. When I said that, I didn't mean people who were being hypocritical. I was referring to people who experience lots of feelings in their lives but they are in some way inchoate. They aren't verbal people. This is part of what writers do. They speak for people who cannot speak for themselves.

Very interesting link and interview, Cip! Thank you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Merisi and cip,

Laurence's comment that writers "speak for people who cannot speak for themselves" reminded me of Frost's thoughts on the writer himself...for whom the composition process is a voyage of discovery. Of clarification.

In "The Figure a Poem Makes," Frost says that "For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew."

I guess sometimes we know things but we don't know we know them...or we know them in another, more lucid way when we take the time to write them down, shake them out, reassemble them.

It is an interesting link, cip.

cipriano said...

I just finished the book tonight, and I highly recommend it to all and sundry.

As that other Canadian "Margaret" icon [Atwood] said in the Afterword:
Re-reading A Jest of God yet again, I was cheered by how little it has dated. Some of the social customs and sexual constraints may have vanished, but the kinds of expectations placed on women, although in different costume, are still around -- perfect physical beauty, total self-confidence, angelic and selfless nurturing of one variety or another. What Rachel can offer us now as readers is something we still need to know: how to acknowledge our own human limitations, our own foolishness. How to say both No, and Yes.

Awesome book!

Stefanie said...

I'm reading Laurence's The Stone Angel right now and loving it.

cipriano said...

Stefanie, that is awesome. The Stone Angel, I mean!
I loved that book.
You are inspiring me to post my review of it here on the Puddle. I think I have never posted it before.
Happy Reading to you and your Reading Group.