Sunday, December 24, 2006
Just a little thing that I noticed about the reading habit as it has mutated over the years. I no longer read for the stories, nor for the writer's thoughts / beliefs / prejudices. I guess I feel that if has to be just this then I may as well get back to re-reading Raymond Chandler or Alistair Maclean, the latter in his period from Night Without End to Ice Station Zebra.
It's a bit more involved than that and, maybe, somewhat intimate. It has to do with getting a sense of the writer than his/her subject; to know the scribe as another human or, rather, to get to feel like knowing him/her. Yes, it helps if the writer has his feet firmly planted on the ground. You need that sense of personal experience, of palpable depth and breadth.