Virginia Woolf, “How Should One Read a Book?”, The Second Common Reader
To continue reading without the book before you…
Kate Briggs, This Little Art, 2017
‘Has it never happened, as you were reading a book,’ asks Barthes, in an essay from 1970, which I quote in Howard’s translation, ‘that you kept stopping as you read, not because you weren’t interested, but because you were: because of a flow of ideas, stimuli, associations? In a word, haven’t you ever happened to read while looking up from your book?’
Russell Persson, “The Way of Forida”, The Learned Pig 29 March 2017
There are so many ordinary sentences in the world and I feel like it’s my job to undo that, to undermine the reader’s expectations and to create a difference, which, I hope, the reader will come to learn and adapt to.
Kate Briggs, This Little Art
To suspend, or to suspend even further, my disbelief. This can’t really have been what he said (Barthes spoke in French; he claimed to barely speak English at all); nevertheless, I’ll go with it. In this sense, there’s something from the outset speculative and, I would say, of the novelistic about the translator’s project, whatever the genre of writing she is writing in.
Roald Dahl, Matilda
“Mr Hemingway says a lot of things I don’t understand,” Matilda said to her. “Especially about men and women. But I loved it all the same. The way he tells it I feel I am right there on the spot watching it all happen.”
“A fine writer will always make you feel that,” Mrs Phelps said. “And don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music.”
John Ashbery, “The New Spirit”
I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way. And next the thought came to me that to leave all out, would be another, and truer, way.
Iris Murdoch, Henry and Cato, 1976
All artists dream of a silence which they must enter, as some creatures return to the sea to spawn.
Sigmund Freud, Civilisation and its Discontents
Writing was in its origin the voice of an absent person; and the dwelling-house was a substitute for the mother’s womb, the first lodging, for which in all liklihood man still longs, and in which he was safe and felt at ease.