Ithaca Blog

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Reading As Slow Amusement

We are fans of the Slow Food movement, and the Slow Money movement, and we think there should also be a movement for Slow Amusement, or Slow Entertainment.

This would involve reading; and doing things with friends.

We think of it as we are reading "Madame Bovary" for the first time. It is a portrayal of the human heart we cannot imagine being rendered any other way but through words.

Movies can give you feelings, even ideas. But it's all over in 100 minutes or so.  A song, the same, but even shorter.

Reading is slow and solitary. So, of course, is writing.

This is all part of the slowness. It takes a long time to do.

And writing takes a long time to learn. Really, no one can teach you how to do it. I can teach you how to write a song in three minutes (three chords; rhymes). But a novel? Forget it. That's up to the person who decides to do it.

We're glad that, for one, Flaubert did this "Madame Bovary". It is about a woman who could exist anytime, anywhere. But it is also about a particular time and place, which live on, because one writer took the time and made the effort to make that happen.

We can also tell you, without getting too deep, that even in translation, this book is French as baguettes.

As for the other form of slow amusement we mentioned, in an hour, we go out for a walk with a friend.

Have fun -
Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Bog

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