In Italo Calvino’s If on a Winters Night a Traveller,” there is a character who doesn’t read. Anything. He doesn’t read billboard signs, or receipts, or store signs, or labels, or titles. He has taught himself how to not read. He stared at the words until the disappeared, and the meanings were no longer comprehensive to him. This character described it as a release from all the words being thrown at you. He is akin to the nobel savage trope, free from the influence of society, he can live his life away from the subtle suggestions and opinions that come to us through reading.
What an interesting twist, I thought to myself. I was fascinated. Once you learn to read, one never thinks of the consequence of reading. You cannot unread a sentence once it has been read. I read something today about movie theatres that gave me goosebumps, and I wish I didn’t know. I now don’t want to see a movie at the theatres for a long, long time.
We are made privy to the subliminal messages, the propaganda, the stupid jokes, derogatory comments, advertisements…etc. One never thinks one should read critically once we learn to read, because words and their meanings simply become ingrained in our lifestyles. It can be seen as a trap.
However, it is a wonderful trap. It is the epitome of taking the good with the bad.
The pages are coming slowly now, unfortunately. I am so close! But I have been preparing, researching and writing essays this past week, and will be spending most of tomorrow writing another one. Same old, same old.
98 pages with 2 left to go. Why am I taking so long?
Photo reference: http://www.deviantart.com/art/A-walk-in-Bandung-115458084