“Read, read, read, read, my unlearned reader! read…” – Back of Oxford Edition of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

Personally, I wish this could be a book review but this would not turn out to be what you, the reader, would expect. If you are a Singaporean student, I pray you won’t disparage that I even have time to indulge in reading luxuriously. Reading for me is important. If I did not read something (________ fill in the blank) before bed every night, the sky would not be blue. The ocean not green and grey. The sun not shining.

Every inversion of nature could be invoked. But I shall not bore you with the hackneyed phrases.

But Literature today is an incredibly misunderstood subject. They think we sit in ivory towers and are from out of this world. When we speak to people, it seems like they tremble in fear of what these crazy pseudo-elitists might say.

At least that’s what I imagine it to be in my little fantasy world.

“How did we come to this? It’s not, after all, the natural state of affairs. A child first marvels at the invention of a story; he doesn’t ask who Rumpelstiltskin was modelled on; he just loves it that a wishing chair can fly or animals can talk. In adult fiction, the element of wonder has somehow been lost; some readers seem to find it frightening to think a writer can conjure people, scenes and feelings from a void… [so they attribute them to intense autobiographical elements]”

– Introduction, Faulks on Fiction. Sebastian Faulks.

Hook. Line. And Sinker.

This may not quite tempt you to read the book but perhaps the “Lovers” chapter may entice you to, especially when I saw the name “Mr. Darcy”.

How can one not love an academic essay about Mr. Darcy?

 

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