04 August 2004

Non-Fiction Reading

While I've slowed a little with fiction, I seem to have slowed even more with non-fiction But that's okay; I was pushing pretty hard. But, hey, reading is one of the things I'm really good at.
  1. The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram. I've been meaning to read this for ages. Its thesis is that writing, and alphabetic writing in particular, gradually lead to the separation of the human and natural worlds. We are somehow fundamentally disconnected from nature because of spelling. I don't know enough about the development of writing or of phenomenology (on which this book is grounded) to say whether or not Abram's arguments work. I did run into the odd thing I disagreed with, but they were mostly minor. Regardless of whether or not I was convinced (I reserve judgement), this was a beautifully-written book despite being very academic in places (many places). It also makes an interesting companion read to The Alphabet Effect. Though the two books don't really say the same thing, and they definitely don't use the same sort of reasoning, they do have a certain amount of overlap.

As with fiction, I'll be turning to my own shelves for reading for a while (not that I'm abandoning the library -- they still have quite a few graphic novels, and even some interesting DVDs).

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