View Full Version : re-reading

15-02-2005, 03:12 PM
i was talking to a scientist friend of mine recently who was absolutely shocked that i would want to re-read anything. his take was that when a book was finished it was done with. i tried to explain to him the pleasures of re-reading, for example i once read the great gatsby 6 ttimes in a year, for pleasure. i remmeber a quote from nabokov who stated something like there is no reading, only re-reading.
so the question is what do we re-read for pleasure - i'm thinking novels here, but obviously whatever...
i;m re-reading the final volume of proust at the moment along with the good soldier (ford madox ford, not hasek, for the 5th time)

15-02-2005, 04:07 PM
if i like something i'll probably end up rereading it and it's as near to definite if i actually own it. I was going to say i wish that i could read stuff once and have it internalised but actually thinking about i'm not so sure... I really enjoy the feeling of knowing where something is going and being able to linger on details and aspects you wouldn't have the time before (or the time before that...). Is this an admission of my lack of a 21c mind??

15-02-2005, 04:18 PM
i dunno about 21c minds but i do agree there is much to be said for the mulling aspect of re-reading, enjoying the ride rather than worrying about the destination. there is the chance to pick up on those odd deatils that can be missed in the rush to hang onto the plot or whatever. i had someone once tell me that when he had finished reading Othello that in fact that is when the reading proper had started (i've a feeling he nicked that line from someone else though) but i got his point, that once the text has been read it can then start to be explored and therefore'read'.
we don't, after all, think that music is 'got' on a single listen do we?

21-02-2005, 11:59 AM
re-reading is actually a useful thing, during different stages of my life i've had completely different experiences of the same book, percieved it in entirely different ways, including if i thought it was good or not.
-sometimes i go back to a book just reading a chapter or two or flick through the pages, not re-reading the whole thing, but just refreshing my memory... it can be interesting. (-am i weird??) :o