The writer’s ghost:

July 31, 2009

From Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, trans. Maria Jolas, Boston: Beacon Press, 1969: (brilliant! it’s brilliant!)

“Nobody knows that in reading we are re-living our temptations to be a poet. All readers who have a certain passion for reading, nurture and repress, through reading, the desire to become a writer. When the page we have just read is too near perfection, our modesty suppresses this desire [speak for yourself, Bachelard…!]. In any case, every reader who re-reads a work that he likes, knows that its pages concern him… [T]he joy of reading appears to be the reflection of the joy of writing, as though the reader were the writer’s ghost.”

‘Introduction’, xxii.

Apologies, of course, for the gender-specific: to add my usual ‘[s/]’ to ‘he’ and ‘[/her]’ to ‘him’ disrupted too much the flow of that sentence…!


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