Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fast food reading

How we, in the age of Twitter and a rampant internet, are losing the art of sustained reading and contemplation - lit blogger Mark Sarvas discusses this with the help of the erudite visitors to his blog who throw in a host of insightful comments at the foot of the post. Ironically enough, reading this [total time - 8 minutes?] gave me a lot to ... contemplate. But in fact it's not ironic at all. There is a lot to think about on the net, as Sarvas says, it's just that it's there in bite-sized portions that we grab at like fast food [I guess I could have eaten a Big Mac in those eight minutes]. Deep contemplation is harder to find time for, he maintains, and some, like Philip Roth, say novel readers will become as thin on the ground as readers of Latin poetry are now. In fact, I have Jude Morgan's The Taste of Sorrow beside me on the table as I write this. It was there as I read the Sarvas blog. If I'd opened it instead, I could have read a few pages of the book at least [it promises to be rather wonderful but I am not as yet fully engaged with it]. However, now I have to go out and invade the day [grocery shopping, dropping children off, walking the dog]. The Taste of Sorrow will have to wait ... maybe later when I get home... after I've sampled my emails.   

1 comment:

Rachel Fenton said...

Perhaps it's the here and now which deserves more contemplation?