Today’s reading

I’ve been reading Richard Powers’ Orfeo: A Novel and giddily highlighting bits of Kindle text as I came to things that poked and niggled and amused. Lately I’ve been thinking about reading as an activity, a passion, a compulsion, a means to assemble the significant; all in the context of a passage through Ted Nelson’s autobiography Possiplex (on which I made lots of notes as I read, and over which I continue to puzzle). Here’s a wonderful description of a reader’s experience:

…after some paragraphs, a clause swerved and slid him sideways into a drift, a soft passage several pages on, in the middle of the right-hand page, a sense-rich description of a man and woman walking down a street in Boston on a July night, reprised, in misty da capo, again yet once more, his eyes making their closed circuit, hitting the right margin’s guardrail, looping back around and trying the line again, tracking along the circuit of text, slowing then slipping down the stripped cogway of slick subordinate clauses, retrying the sequence until his dimming sight and again found traction –the man, the woman, a moment of regretful truth along the esplanade– before snagging and starting the fuzzy looping climb all over again. (Powers Orfeo pg 54)

Perhaps it’s not irrelevant that I’m also reading Swann’s Way

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