Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mark Leidner, On Reading

"Reading is like getting a ride somewhere. You don't have to fight traffic, worry about cops, old maps, malfunctioning GPSs; you don't choose the music, the speed, or how aggressively or defensively to drive; you don't have to use your body, or your eyes if you don't want to; you're not responsible for anything, etc. The driver handles all that. You just sit there and look around while all the scenery you have no control over washes through your field of vision. In this way reading has always felt lazy and unmeaningful to me, compared to writing. But sometimes you're in the hands of a driver so capable, and the ride is so spectacular, that you forgive yourself for not having caused it. I think that's called humility... I'm not sure."

Mark Leidner is the author of The Angel in the Dream of Our Hangover (Sator Press, 2011), a book of aphorisms, and Beauty Was the Case that They Gave Me (Factory Hollow, 2011), a book of poetry. He grew up in Georgia and now lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.}

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