[ilds] RG Justine 1.4 -- active reading & Justine

william godshalk godshawl at email.uc.edu
Sat Apr 21 15:47:28 PDT 2007


>Andy asks: "can books speak without being read?"
A good, basic question. I have also heard the question asked like 
this: "do books read themselves?"

Even people who affirm in their writing that books do not read 
themselves, will talk as if they do. I am here thinking of Kendall 
Walton in Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the 
Representational Arts.

To me it seems counter-intuitive to say that books actively do 
anything. Narratives have a contingent reality. That is, if they are 
not read -- if they are lost in the sands of Egypt -- it is almost as 
if they do not exist. They certainly don't exist for the humans who 
do not know of their existence.

And, Rita, this is NOT to say that I don't have great pleasure 
reading among my books. I do.

I'm somewhat amazed that no one has brought up audio cassettes. But 
even there, to listen to them you have to activate your CD player.

Bill -- in his library
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W. L. Godshalk		*
Department of English         *
University of Cincinnati            Stellar disorder  *
Cincinnati OH 45221-0069      *
513-281-5927
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