Friday, September 14, 2007

dubiously used books

Joie and I finished Treasure Island, and last night at study hall I checked out The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I enjoy the urgently soothing flow of his writing.

The book is relatively thin and the writer is highly regarded in a literary sense, which means that this particular copy of the book has been abused by a fair number of AP English students. As one begins reading the book, it is difficult to ignore the penciled brackets that surround (and ironically fail to emphasize) the most deeply significant seven out of every eight paragraphs. I patiently waited for it to end. Sure enough, after the first twenty pages or so, all of the papers had been written with sufficient profundity and an artful, playful vagueness to hint at the wonder of the piece without getting bogged down with details like the people and places in the book, and without giving away anything about the last 250 pages or so.

I wonder if those people ever ask themselves why people enjoy reading.

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