So you haven’t read all the pages of James Joyce’s Ulysses? Actually, you haven’t read any of it, have you? No big deal, says Pierre Bayard, author of French bestseller How Do You Talk About Books You Haven’t Read?; neither has he. And that doesn’t stop him from sharing his “very positive” opinion about it. Bayard, a psychoanalyst and university professor, wants to reassure students and bibliophobes that just knowing about a book as opposed to having read it is no reason for shame. “Even the most cultivated among us have enormous gaps in their knowledge,” Bayard says. “Many great intellectuals—Paul Valery, Montaigne, Oscar Wilde—often spoke about books they hadn’t read, and didn’t feel guilty about it.”… Bayard argues that the real secret to knowledge, cultivation and passionate reading lies in avoiding the traditional, linear approach to books. “Books aren’t so much made to be read as they are to be lived with,” he says.Do you discuss, recommend, ding, or write about books you haven't read (qualifying your comments, of course, by admitting your non-reader status)? Vote in the sidebar, please, and if you can't see it, widen your window -- good advice for life, too.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I'm sometimes asked to mention or discuss books I haven't read and wonder whether I have the right to talk about them. Help me out. Read this quote from Jeffrey T. Iversen's Time magazine's February 8, 2007 article, Don't Read All About It:
Labels: Writing Life