Theorising about reading

I met an old friend D after a long time. A long time equals to not since college. She was my senior in my master’s. Being a poet and a reader herself, the subject of reading isn’t far from our conversations. We were at an Indological bookshop and while browsing the shelves, she asked me if I was able to read complex theoretical texts as we used to read earlier. Soon she pointed me to Spivak’s translation of Jacques Derrida’s ‘Of Grammatology’. Maybe that’s what got her thinking in the first place.

I thought a bit and confessed no. But then I didn’t have to. Unless I seek out complex theoretical stuff, it doesn’t exactly fall into my lap. I just assumed that some neurons were lost or eroded through disuse. But she had a different take. According to her, we have started to develop our own complex ideas, and hence it becomes difficult to read another’s. I thought that was profound. And perhaps more than a bit accurate.

(I am relieved; I can actually blame my original ideas for the slow progress through the Goodreads reading challenge this year.)

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7 thoughts on “Theorising about reading

  1. I enjoyed this. One small ‘quibble’ – would the concept of ‘long time’ being described as ‘since college’ apply to students who had graduated the day before? 😉

    1. Thanks spykeyone! Welcome to my blog! It all depends on how you feel. If graduating from college the day before makes it feel like a long time ago for you, then why not?

      I felt like I needed to qualify what this ‘long ago’ was and hence the added information. People use ‘long ago’ for a few months as well and that is not what I wanted to say. I miss Spanish at times like this. There is an intermediate tense that exactly captures the time I was trying to convey. Though I never got the hang of their time slices and respective tenses to map those time slices.

      1. Ooh. I totally understood what you meant and it was a quite appropriate term to use. I’m just guilty of overanalyzing everything I read or write at the moment because I’m well into my first novel and getting critiqued by peers. You shouldn’t take any notice of me. 🙂

      2. I understand that you understood. Just as you need to over analyse, I need to explain what I meant. 😉

        Aw, the criticising bit is tough. Hang in there. What is your novel about?

      3. It’s a sci-fi thriller set in London in the near future. Two uber-hackers end up in a battle to the death when one of them accidentally invents an app that can stop time.

      4. That sounds action-packed and exciting. Exactly what publishers will like. Looking forward to it!

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