Abrasions Upon the Text

David Winters, “Speeds & Shapes of Consciousness: An Interview with Evan Lavender-Smith by David Winters,” Gorse 1 (January 2014)

…[R]eal reading is rife with the imperfections of living. Readers err, ‘space out’, skip and stall; as Barthes puts it, a reader’s attention imprints ‘abrasions’ upon the text. And relatedly, as you say, reading can involve intuition as much as tuition — an idea, once read, isn’t just an idea, but an associative node, as affective and aesthetic as it is intellectual.

So, in this kind of reading experience, it seems like writing’s form or style is the site of its intersection with life. It’s almost as if, through form, something living is folded into writing. Then, in our encounter with that form — our skewed, errant ‘reading’ of it — this implicit life is animated: vivified. Or rather, writer and reader each enter a shared lifeworld, one that arises from within that formal ‘world of the book.’

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