Odyssey Online

Entries from March 2012

Slow Reading

March 29th, 2012 · Comments Off on Slow Reading

…along the lines of the general topic of rereading…slow reading.  This piece by Maura Kelly is an argument for reading, for lengthy linear reading, for reading big novels.  Great Expectations, Moby Dick, Anna Karenina, that kind of book.  Kelly’s is a well written piece and we give a sympathetic ear to any essay that makes the case for reading. Reading.

Here’s a thought along those lines, for the interludes one might have in the afternoon, think about the big book that might make for great slow summer reading…

Tags: Books

Friday Blogging, On Rereading

March 25th, 2012 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, On Rereading

…I realise it’s Sunday just after lunch…where I have just finished Ian Donaldson’s new biography, Ben Jonson A Life, having spotted a positive review in the New York Times Book Review.  A contemporary of Shakespeare, and maybe, just maybe, the best playwright of that era after Shakespeare, Jonson is someone I studied as an undergrad and graduate student those many years ago.  Reading Donaldson’s fine new book was not only a reacquaintance with Jonson the man, but with memories of myself as a reader.  So if not exactly an exercise in rereading, an exercise in treading where a reader as trod.  For an overview of Jonson the writer try the Oxford Standard Authors, Ben Jonson edited, coincidentally enough, by Ian Donaldson (I’ll return the biography and it will be back in the Browsing Collection Monday…)

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Two to Reread

March 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Two to Reread

…with last weeks post about rereading in mind I found myself thinking of two books that would be very much worth a reread.  The first is William Maxwell’s book The Outermost Dream.  It is a book about books, and I suppose it is a book about Maxwell as a reader, and one of the titles he details is Laurie Lee’s book The Edge of Day: A Boyhood in the West of England, first published in 1959. I bought the Maxwell title from Birch Bark Books in Colton New York, not knowing it or Maxwell from birch bark but these are both subtly beautiful books–like those sounds in nature that please: bluster through spruce, rain on porch roofs, summertime wind chimes.  Worth rereading.

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Friday Blogging, On Rereading

March 2nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, On Rereading

…I noticed in our happening Browsing Collection (other side of the goat, right in front of Special Collections), On Rereading by Patricia Meyer Spacks.  On page nine she writes:

In rereading, demands on memory multiply…reading something for the first time may also evoke past selves, inasmuch as we recall bygone experience, of books and of life outside books, when vicariously experiencing the lives of imaginary others.  Rereading brings us more sharply in contact with how we–like the books we reread–have both changed and remained the same.  Books help to constitute our identity. They also, as we reread them, measure identity’s changes with the passage of time.

A thought for yet another gray Friday this gray winter…a perfect day to reread a book that matters…

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

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