Wednesday, January 23, 2019

"I am not interested in how it thinks"

At the Guardian, Deborah Levy considers the pros and cons of culling one's book collection:
It is true that in the current phase of my life, I have emptied my shelves of many books I have carried around with me for decades. I finally realised that I was not attached to them. Like a relationship that has neared its end, I lived in hope they might reach out to me. To put it more animistically, if these books were speaking to me, I no longer wanted to listen to them. I threw away books I had started, never finished, and I finally owned up to never wanting to get involved with them in the first place. Fiction, in particular, can be boring for the same reasons that make people boring. Its mind is closed, it cannot tolerate doubt, it has no interest in the subjectivities of others, it cannot access the apparently unknowing part of its mind (sometimes described as the unconscious), it is relentlessly cheerful or relentlessly despairing, and most importantly, I am not interested in how it thinks.
(NB I haven't emphasized the Marie Kondo aspect of how the piece is framed because I read Margaret Dilloway's interesting piece on Kondo this morning and do not want to reinforce the patterns of thinking she deplores!

No comments:

Post a Comment