Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dennis McFarland, On Reading

"When I was a child in grammar school, we were regularly administered 'standardized tests,' and the part I always had the most trouble with was the reading section. You were given a big block of text to read, and then you had to answer questions about it. I never had adequate time to finish, because I read so slowly. Not much has changed. To me, the verb read means 'de-code and file.' The de-coding must be done slowly and sometimes the file cabinet is too full for further data. My entry into the text is always accompanied by reluctance. It’s like exploring a new friendship I feel shy about. And I pretty much require total silence. All this is to say, it’s work for me. Under these circumstances, when it’s good, it’s very good, and when it’s not-good it’s … well, usually aborted."

Dennis McFarland is the author of six novels. He lives in rural Vermont with his wife, writer Michelle Blake. For more information, visit his website here.}

1 comment:

  1. I am working on an essay speaking to my love of literature but fear of math, yet the fact that I scored virtually the same on them on standardized testing....hmm