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2005/03/07
分類: 文學分享 : 

作者: leifsonmc (12:11 pm)
In the first place, I want to emphasize the note of interrogation at the end of my title. Even if I could answer the question for myself, the answer would apply only to me and not to you. The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow you own instincts, to use your own reason to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess.

After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day, but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question of himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, that to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conversions – there we have none. But to enjoy freedom, if the platitude is pardonable, we have of course to control ourselves. We must not squander our powers, helplessly and ignorantly squirting half the house in order to water a single rose-bush.

Grape Picker

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