Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Are all readers self-absorbed?

According to Marcel Proust, “Every reader is, when he reads, reading only about himself.” This is an interesting position, but I’m not sure I agree. I do agree, however, that every reader is reading from his own personal perspective. Everything is read through a personal filter, and each person’s filter makes the reading experience unique. In this way, two readers reading the exact same words are actually reading different things depending on their own personal filters. That’s not the same as always reading about oneself all the time, though.

1 comment:

Lyza said...

Actually, I totally agree with Proust here, at least for my own experiences. The depth a book affects me absolutely depends on whatever is going on peripherally in my personal life at the time. Sometimes I read masterpieces and they just bounce off of me, but sometimes I read something marginal and it feels like the most meaningful read of my life.

But perhaps I am more self-absorbed than an average person!