Friday, May 7, 2010
Some of my readers here know that I've been working hard for a long time to find the best way to say what I want to say about reading and to find someone who wants to hear it (and publish it). This very blog is in part an expression of that. So is my book manuscript, Reading to Live: An Experiment with Joy in Eight Readings. This book has undergone a variety of changes over the past decade. Most recently, I've been trying to move it in the direction of something that would be accessible to an educated audience interested in serious discussions of books. However, I'm told that my current version still falls between two chairs: not rigorous enough to satisfy an academic audience and, at times at least, too rough a going for non-academics.
So I'd like to use this space, on occasion, to workshop the manuscript. A couple of weeks ago I posted the "Introduction". My thought is that I can trot the thing out in readable bits, in order of appearance, and -- hopefully -- get readers to give me feedback. I'd really like to know what works and what doesn't and why. To that end, a little later today is I'll post what follows the "Introduction." It is called "Prelude: A Story of Reading to Live". It is in three parts, so this will be just the first of those three.
I'm always grateful and excited to receive comments on my posts, but I'll be particularly thankful for feedback on the book manuscript as I post parts of it.
For easy reference: here is the table of contents for the book as it now stands:
Prelude: A Story of Reading to Live
Part One: Learning Reading to Live
Reading One: Enjoying (On William Carlos Williams' "The Red Wheelbarrow")
Reading Two: Storytelling (On Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials)
Reading Three: Reading (On Felisberto Hernández' "Except Julia")
Reading Four: Inventing (On Julio Cortázar's Image of John Keats and Hopscotch)
Part Two: Reading to Live With Death
Reading Five: Fearing (On Yi Saek's "The White Snow")
Reading Six: Despairing (On Jorge Luis Borges' "The Aleph")
STILL TO COME:
Reading Seven: Dying (on Three Stories of Death by Horacio Quiroga)
Reading Eight: Living (on Roberto Arlt’s Mad Toy)