Thursday, February 02, 2006

Some Baffling Inner Necessity

David Samuels on becoming a reader:

No one becomes a reader except in answer to some baffling inner necessity, of the kind that leads people to turn cartwheels outside the 7-Eleven, jump headlong through a plate-glass window, join the circus, or buy a low-end foreign car when the nearest appropriate auto-repair shop is fifty miles away. With these dramatic examples fresh in your mind, you’ll probably require only a small amount of additional convincing that my little theory -- based on years of painful experience -- is true. Reading requires a loner’s temperament, a high tolerance for silence, and an unhealthy preference for the company of people who are imaginary or dead.

From David Samuels, "Marginal Notes on the Inner Lives of People with Cluttered Apartments in the East Seventies: Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger" in Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005) at 3.

No comments: