“But then people don’t read literature in order to understand; they read it because they want to re-live the feelings and sensations which they found exciting in the past. Art can be a lot of things; but in actual practice, most of it is merely the mental equivalent of alcohol and cantharides.”
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan
Aldous Huxley 1939
Cribb Comment: The point is unfortunately undeniable. I wish it were not. The number of people out there who read seems to diminish more and more every passing day, which is depressing enough, but then another half or more of those that do read, don’t actually “listen” or “absorb” or escape their own addictive shackles long enough to experience literature (and of course, life itself) in its intended extrinsic existence, perspective, and relevance. Without moving beyond the constructs of addiction and distraction, whether overtly apparent or passively employed, of their own minds, people will never be able to digest literature or personal experience or life itself, in the way they are meant to be perceived. To believe that you are reading while not or listening while not, is the greatest mindtrap pitfall that must be surmounted to escape the pathologic and often ignored isolation that the mind most often clings to.