the ‘why’ of reading
Why not? In fact, please do.
This is an invitation to go beyond the mere skill of reading and to
engage oneself in a conceptual world. Umberto
Eco qualifies the benefits of reading fiction: “we read novels because they
give us the comfortable sensation of living in worlds where the notion of truth
is indisputable, while the actual world seems to be a more treacherous place (p.91)”.
read to nurture our imagination: “since such [conceptual] worlds do lack the
plenitude of the actual world, there is more ‘room’, as it were, for them to
be filled out by the creative activity of the imaginer, and there are fewer
constraints on the way in which they
can be filled out. (p.38,
Most importantly, we read to remember to believe in the impossible: “the impossible worlds may enable us to question the notion of impossibility itself… that the actual world is not completely intelligible, that it is constantly and incessantly open to revision and that all certainties are ephemeral… A role which fiction can play in this incessant activity is to provide sustained explorations of possibility in all its forms and even of impossibilities which may turn out to be possible after all (p.17, Maitre)”.