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The naked and the read (the-tls.co.uk)
32 points by samclemens 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments

> His disrespect for books as objects provides a clue to the nature of his library

The fictional detective Pepe Carvalho goes one better - he rips off and tosses in the fireplace the pages he has read. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepe_Carvalho )

I was properly horrified the first time I came across that, but I've come to appreciate the Homeric, pre-literate load implied - you either remember it or not, there's no artificial aid.

There's a lot of artificial help, in the sense that souvenirs, confidants, talisman, etc. supply. Not to mention that those people could probably read who were exposed to a multitude of knowledge, more than the average field workers, anyway.

What I find really curious is the question how many people could actually speak a powerful language at all, instead of mumbling, calling names, pointing and gesturing.

Amusing. A couple of years ago, a review of a volume of Mailer's letters said that he had a "big guilt mountain" of friends' books still unread, and a "little guilt mountain" of letters unread or at least unanswered.

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