This past week’s New York Times Sunday Review (3/18/12) had a couple of interesting columns. As an author, photographer, and educator, I was especially focused on the articles about reading.
Pulitzer Prize winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, in her column “My Life’s Sentences, “likens writing a sentence to taking a Polaroid. “To write,” she says “is to document and to develop at the same time.” And like a photographer who builds a portfolio over time with discerning edits, Lahiri’s work “accrues sentence by sentence. After an initial phase of sitting patiently, not so patiently, struggling to locate them, to pin them down, they begin arriving.”
The other article that grabbed my attention was “Your Brain on Fiction” by Annie Murphy Paul who explains why the experience of reading can feel so alive, “…. The brain, it seems, does not make much of a difference between reading [fiction] about an experience and encountering it in real life; in each case the same neurological regions are stimulated.” This clarifies why I have avoided reading the last 30 pages of Disgrace by Nobel Prize winning author J.M Coetze; I simply am not ready to say goodbye to Professor Lurie and Melanie, Bev, Lucy, and Petrus.
Annie Murphy Paul’s column concludes, “Reading great literature…enlarges and improves us as human beings.”
And with this optimistic note, I will now finish Disgrace.
And……What’s on deck? Man Seeks God, by Eric Weiner (hardcover), Vincent (900+ paged book but worth its weight for its cotton rag deckle-edged paper), The Tourist (paperback) by Olen Steinhauer, and The Marriage Plot (Kindle) by Jeffrey Eugenides. On my iPad, I’ll continue with Mari Smith’s The New Relationship Marketing.
And how about you. Reading anything noteworthy that you’d like to share?