books as handbags

3 12 2007

Rachel Cooke dissecando o ato de ler e (ela também) explicando por que o livro de Bayard é uma idiotice.

Gostei desta passagem:

Bayard’s essay (assuming it is not really by Chris Morris, and a giant spoof) is yet another product of a world that commodifies everything, that regards books pretty much as if they were status handbags. It sees reading only as a social indicator, as a way of getting on or looking cool, ignoring the fact that, at bottom, it is a private pleasure to be enjoyed for its own sake.

This world is obsessed with speed and appalled by depth: it calls libraries ‘idea stores’, and regards Wikipedia as a perfectly respectable way of getting information. This is wrong. I don’t care – or I only care a little – that I struggle to remember the precise plot of, say, The Catcher in the Rye. What matters to me is that every time that book and I get together, it’s like being in the best company ever. Fine: dazzle your pals with your (wafer-thin) grasp of why Middlemarch is the greatest English novel. But this is a delight that will last only seconds; reading Middlemarch will give you hours (and perhaps a lifetime) of deep satisfaction.


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