Tuesday, 28 January 2014

William H Gass on reading slow

"I went over a little story called 'Ping' [by Samuel Beckett] one day with the idea of reading it aloud. It’s about six or seven pages, but it is a half an hour or more in the reciting. If you do it properly, well spaced, larded with silence, then it’s overpowering. You gotta wait, you know, and wait, and wait, and wait, and we just don’t do that sort of thing—the world turns—who has time to wait between two syllables for just a little literary revelation? A lot of modern writers, I remember saying, are writing for the fast mind that speeds over the text like those noisy bastards in motorboats. The connections are all spatial and all at various, complicated, intellectual levels. They stand to literature as fastfood to food."

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