Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Without missing a beat Heath replied: "Yes, but there’s a second kind of reader. There’s the social isolate- the child who from an early age felt very different from everyone around him. This is very, very difficult to uncover in an interview. People don’t like to admit that they were social isolates as children. What happens is you take that sense of being different into an imaginary world. But that world, then is a world you can’t share with the people around you- because it’s imaginary. And so the important dialogue in your life is with the authors of the books you read. Though they aren’t present, they become your community.”
Pride compels me, here, to draw a distinction between young fiction readers and young nerds. The classic nerd, who finds a home in facts or technology or numbers, is marked not by a displaced sociability but by an antisociability. Reading does resemble more nerdy pursuits in that it’s a habit that both feeds on a sense of isolation and aggravates it. Simply being a “social isolate” as a child does not, however, doom you to bad breath and poor party skills as an adult. In fact, it can make you hypersocial. It’s just that at some point you’ll begin to feel a gnawing, almost remorseful need to be alone and do some reading -- to reconnect to that community.
-- From the essay Why Bother, in Jonathan Franzen's How To Be Alone --

Have a great Tuesday!

1 comment:

Merisi said...

Well said! :-)