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Umberto Eco
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About reading > We are thus deeply influenced by books we haven't read, that we haven't had the time to read.

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message 1: by Quynh (last edited Feb 18, 2012 01:00PM) (new)

Quynh (manvu) | 4 comments Mod
I find an interesting article about reading and want to share with you all. This is the conversation between Umberto Eco and script-writer Jean-Claude.


Umberto Eco: There are more books in the world than hours in which to read them. We are thus deeply influenced by books we haven't read, that we haven't had the time to read. Who has actually read Finnegans Wake – I mean from beginning to end? Who has read the Bible properly, from Genesis to the Apocalypse?

And yet I've a fairly accurate notion of what I haven't read. I have to admit that I only read War and Peace when I was 40. But I knew the basics before then. The Mahabharata – I've never read that, despite owning three editions in different languages. Who has actually read the Kama Sutra? And yet everyone talks about it, and some practise it too. So we can see that the world is full of books that we haven't read, but that we know pretty well.

And yet when we eventually pick them up, we find they are already familiar. How is that? First, there's the esoteric explanation – there are these waves that somehow travel from the book to you – to which I don't subscribe. Second, perhaps it's not true that you've never opened the book; over the years you're bound to have moved it from place to place, and may have flicked through it and forgotten that you've done so. Third, over the years you've read lots of books that have mentioned this one and so made it seem familiar.

Jean-Claude Carrière: There are books on our shelves we haven't read and doubtless never will, that each of us has probably put to one side in the belief that we will read them later on, perhaps even in another life. The terrible grief of the dying as they realise their last hour is upon them and they still haven't read Proust.

UE: When people ask whether I've read this or that book, I've found that a safe answer is, "You know, I don't read, I write." That shuts them up. Although some of the questions come up time and time again: "Have you read Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair?" I ended up giving in and trying to read it, on three different occasions. But I found it terribly dull.



message 2: by Quynh (new)

Quynh (manvu) | 4 comments Mod
Sư thật là...mình cũng không thể đọc xong nổi Proust, ặc. Mình đã bắt đầu cuốn số 2 của bộ Đi tìm thời gian đã mất từ năm 2003 và đến giờ vẫn không vượt khỏi trang số 10.

message 3: by Splendie (new)

Splendie Eva (aishatheva) | 3 comments mình thích câu trả lời của Umberto "you know, i dont read, i write" hahaha. andy es...Vanity Fair is so dull _)_
Nice post Ms Quynh...

message 4: by Joey (new)

Joey Le (joeyle) | 2 comments Mod
*gật gù*
Very nice post Cừu ơi :)

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