How to Read and Why - my favourite book of literary criticism.

"We read deeply for varied reasons, most of them familiar: that we cannot know enough people profoundly enough; that we need to know ourselves better; that we require knowledge, not just of self and others, but of the way things are. Yet the strongest, most authentic motive for deep reading of the now much-abused traditional canon is the search for a difficult pleasure."

Harold Bloom is amazing. I always learn so much from his wise commentary on books I loved and books I haven’t got around to reading yet.

How to Read and Why - my favourite book of literary criticism.

"We read deeply for varied reasons, most of them familiar: that we cannot know enough people profoundly enough; that we need to know ourselves better; that we require knowledge, not just of self and others, but of the way things are. Yet the strongest, most authentic motive for deep reading of the now much-abused traditional canon is the search for a difficult pleasure."

Harold Bloom is amazing. I always learn so much from his wise commentary on books I loved and books I haven’t got around to reading yet.

The power of fiction
From David Malouf’s wonderful Quarterly Essay, The Happy Life - the search for contentment in the modern world:

Fiction, with its preference for what is small and might elsewhere seem irrelevant; its facility for smuggling us into another skin and allowing us to live a new life there; its painstaking devotion to what without it might go unnoticed and unseen; its respect for contingency, and the unlikely and odd; its willingness to expose itself to moments of low, almost animal being and make them nobly illuminating, can deliver truths we might not otherwise stumble on.

The power of fiction

From David Malouf’s wonderful Quarterly Essay, The Happy Life - the search for contentment in the modern world:

Fiction, with its preference for what is small and might elsewhere seem irrelevant; its facility for smuggling us into another skin and allowing us to live a new life there; its painstaking devotion to what without it might go unnoticed and unseen; its respect for contingency, and the unlikely and odd; its willingness to expose itself to moments of low, almost animal being and make them nobly illuminating, can deliver truths we might not otherwise stumble on.