Thursday, 24 January 2019

#QotD: 'How to read authors of earlier times who expressed views or created characters that we find repugnant today'


"It’s as if we imagine an old book to be a time machine that brings the writer to us. We buy a book and take it home, and the writer appears before us, asking to be admitted into our company. If we find that the writer’s views are ethnocentric or sexist or racist, we reject the application, and we bar his or her entry into the present.
"As [my] student had put it, 'I don’t want anyone like that in my house'.
"I think we’d all be better readers if we realised that it isn’t the writer who’s the time traveler. It’s the reader. When we pick up an old novel, we’re not bringing the novelist into our world and deciding whether he or she is enlightened enough to belong here; we’re journeying into the novelist’s world and taking a look around."
          ~ Brian Morton, author and director of the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College, as quoted in the post
             'How to read authors of earlier times who expressed views or created characters that we find repugnant today'.

No comments:

Post a Comment

1. Comments are welcome and encouraged.
2. Comments are moderated. Gibberish, spam & off-topic grandstanding will be removed. Tu quoque will be moderated. Links to bogus news sites (and worse) will be deleted.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say it, it's important enough to put a name to it.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.