Here’s something alarming:
I’d just finished a book and was ready to embark on another adventure, to move my mind from the day-to-day of the joyful mundane. I picked up Milan Kundera’s Testaments Betrayed--only to find the margins full of exclamations and notes—the more alien things are from one another, the more marginal the light; a paradox reality versus the dream of reality. But have you thought about the boring nature of repetition? Sentences underlined, sometimes twice. Even highlighted.
I’d read this book already. I seemed to have completely engaged with it, arguing with Kundera, agreeing, letting his thoughts lead to other thoughts. But I’d forgotten it. Even as I re-read the underlined passages, the scribbled notes, only vague thoughts returned.
Why do I read? Why do you read? Testament’s Betrayed is nonfiction, and I’m sure I read it to engage in the pleasurable act of thinking. Perhaps with the hope that I’d remember something, too. Remember something and let it shape and inform new thoughts and return to Kundera’s points when necessary. But it’s vanished. Gone. So was it a futile undertaking to read it in the first place? No, I want to insist—some part of me has thought of things because of what I’d read. Yes, because this is just wishful thinking.
Why do you read? Fiction? Nonfiction? Do you forget what you read? How do you remember what you want to remember?
Causes Nina Schuyler Supports
National Resources Defense Council