57 Followers
8 Following
sasha

Other Sashas

Other Sashas is yet another extension of my reading journal. Because the thought of importing books and editing the reviews make me want to puke, I'll start using BookLikes in earnest once 2014's rolled around.

"Maybe every author needs to keep faith with Nabokov, and every reader with Barthes. For how can you write, believing in Barthes? Still, I’m glad I’m not the reader I was in college anymore, and I’ll tell you why: it made me feel lonely. Back then I wanted to tear down the icon of the author and abolish, too, the idea of a privileged reader—the text was to be a free, wild thing, open to everyone, belonging to no one, refusing an ultimate meaning. Which was a powerful feeling, but also rather isolating, because it jettisons the very idea of communication, of any possible genuine link between the person who writes and the person who reads. Nowadays I know the true reason I read is to feel less alone, to make a connection with a consciousness other than my own. To this end I find myself placing a cautious faith in the difficult partnership between reader and writer, that discrete struggle to reveal an individual’s experience of the world through the unstable medium of language. Not a refusal of meaning, then, but a quest for it."

From "Rereading Barthes and Nabokov" by Zadie Smith, collected in Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays.