(esp. of a time or place) like an idyll; extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque: an idyllic setting to read and enjoy the day. [New Oxford American Dictionary]
Sunday afternoon, just outside the doors of City Park Library.
So what did Amalfitano’s students learn? They learned to recite aloud. They memorized the two or three poems that they loved most in order to remember them and recite them at the proper times: funerals, weddings, moments of solitude. They learned that a book was a labyrinth and a desert. That there was nothing more important than ceaseless reading and traveling, perhaps one and the same thing. That when books were read, writers were released from the souls of stones, which is where they went to live after they died, and they moved into the souls of readers as if into a soft prison cell, a cell that later swelled to burst. That all writing systems are frauds. That true poetry resides between the abyss and misfortune and that the grand highway of selfless acts, of the elegance of eyes and the fate of Marcabru, passes near its abode. That the main lesson of literature was courage, a rare courage like a stone well in the middle of a lake district, like a whirlwind and a mirror. That reading wasn’t more comfortable than writing. That by reading one learned to question and remember. That memory was love.
Roberto Bolaño, Woes of the True Policeman
You don’t like romance? How do you know? Fuck off and go read some.
ABR: Always Be Reading
A writer who doesn’t read is like a filmmaker who only plays video games. You’re like a chef who only eats protein paste, a dog trainer who only owns cats, a sex educator who’s never done the rumpy-pumpy and in fact is so ashamed of your own genital configuration you only handle your pink parts in the dark and with gardening gloves.
The foundation of your creativity is made of books.
So: read books. A lot of books. Done that one? PICK UP ANOTHER.
ABRW: Always Be Reading Widely
I know. You want to read what you want to read. You love horror, and by golly you want to write horror, too — so you read a lot of it. That’s cool. You should. But you should also read fantasy. And literary. And classics. You should read Joyce. And one or both Brontes. And Toni Morrison. I don’t mean these writers specifically — I just mean, you need a varied diet. You have a comfort zone. That comfort zone has soft, cushy walls. You need to hack into those walls with a machete. Find out what makes them comfy. Leave the sanctity of your padded cell. See what else the asylum has to offer. A limited diet of reading means all you can do is write the same thing you’re reading. You’re a copy machine spitting out facsimiles. You’re chasing someone else’s tail. As I’ve said before: you’re just a literary human centipede.
You don’t like romance? How do you know? Fuck off and go read some. Maybe you still won’t like it. But it’s important to read it anyway. Liking it isn’t part of the equation. Which leads me to:
Read To Understand
Read not to be entertained, but to be enlightened. Read not to be comforted, but to be challenged. Read to be disturbed, bewildered, saddened, disgusted. Read to understand.
CHUCK WENDIG The Kick-ass Writer [via]
Image: Random tumblr