Sunday 11 December 2011

Reading 'a certain way'

William Empson, author of Seven Types of Ambiguity, the 'great British critic' recommended that one read 'a certain way', to be a reader on which 'nothing is lost'.

Per Petterson's writing lends itself to this: I curse the River of Time was the most mysterious of his books to start with, and the most rewarding to work on.

Also the way to read Proust - in spite of feeling I don't know enough . Sometimes only a page a day is manageable.. Sometimes a page needs re-reading several times before it becomes clear. The problem with taking so long is that one may lose the sense of the shape of the work as a whole. A landscape began to emerge at the end of the first volume, like hills glimpsed through a mist;  but then they disappear again.

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