The machine, the industry that is culture works predominantly with and in the “now”. The official ethos is a warm, mindfully glowing “Be Here Now”. But what that really translates into is “BUY THIS NOW!”. Fair enough. Literature is a kind of sustenance that doesn’t adhere to the same rules as other forms of nourishment. I can no longer be nourished by the food I ate last week, but I can be just as nourished, perhaps even more so by re-reading a book I bought ten years ago. This is not good news for publisher, or writers churning out their Next Big Thing. But it is good news for us readers as long as we can ignore 93.2% of everything we are “fed” by Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. This is another reason why I love getting together with people to hear them read me something they love. It is hardly ever the most recent thing they’ve read. Deep abiding affection and esteem (love?) takes time to bed in. Even though this poem, particularly for the French, is familiar enough to no doubt have bred contempt for some, it is still probably a more interesting poem than 93.2% of anything written in the last month or so. Our conversation felt “new” too. And so it was. For never has this poem been passed consecutively through these pairs of eyes and ears (Anouche’s and mine), and talked about in the way we did. Even the poem itself has never read entirely this way as Anouche provided her own translation of this classic “pont”. Perfect listening for a rainy, autumnal day.
As featured in…
"The title says it all. Read Me Something You Love invites literary lovers to select a piece of writing which excites them. Steve Wasserman, then trundles around to your home with his mobile recording studio in an attempt to translate the pleasure of the reading aloud experience to a wider audience.
“One of the joys of doing this is being open to the experience of how other people’s enthusiasms will wing their way into your life and get you all gee’d up about stories or poems you might never have glanced at twice,” says Wasserman.
Anyone can take part, just email your suggestions to Steve. The only real requirement is that your selection has proved spine-tingling to you in some way. Readings are limited to 20-25 minutes, so a short story, a well-chosen extract or a poem are perfect.
Time to start practicing in the mirror methinks."
"I don’t know about you, but seeing someone read a book on the Tube often gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that this potentially wasted part of the day is enriched by a good book. The rarity of book lovers gracing the seats of the Underground these days makes me feel both sad and like I’m in a secret club that is only acknowledged by a sideways glance at the books of fellow commuters.
So on discovering the Human Reading Being blog, part of the Read Me Something You Love project, I was terrified that I’d spot a terrible picture of myself reading something embarrassing and then overjoyed that this humble daily habit is being celebrated.
Read Me Something You Love involves Steve Wasserman asking authors and non-authors alike, to read a piece of literature they love before leading a discussion on the piece. If you love submerging yourself in the imagination of others, come and celebrate this dying pastime."
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