Thursday, July 22, 2010

Faulkner's Too Busy For Messages

Via Althouse, William Faulkner on "messages" in literature:
That he is too busy dealing with people to have time to deliver messages to anyone. The messages happen just by chance. That he is interested in—in creating flesh and blood people to do the—the tragic or the comic things which people do for—for pleasure. That is, I think that one should read for pleasure, that one doesn't necessarily have to read for pleasure, but I myself read for pleasure, not for ideas. That if it's—I've got to hunt around in a book to—looking for an idea, then I'd rather do something else. I'd rather do something that's more fun than that. It won't be reading.

Imagine that. A Nobel-prize winning writer reads for pleasure, not for ideas. Tell that to your English professor next time he demands you write a paper on the symbology of a particular work.

(See also this post about Billy Collins and poetry.)

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