Archive for December, 2012

re: the reading experience (writer as prompter)

December 28, 2012

A passage here in which Kierkegaard is speaking about how to read properly a devotional text, but I think there might be a broader secular application as well (an idea of how to read anything seriously-intended properly).

In the usual course of things, says Kierkegaard, a priest or devotional writer is viewed as a kind of actor and a congregation is like an audience sitting in judgment over whether the actor’s performance has been good or not.

But the way it should be, Eternity is the audience; the listener (reader) is the actor reciting to Eternity; and the author (priest) is a prompter (prompter) telling the listener which words to recite.

It may not make sense to substitute “novelist” for “speaker” in what’s below, but perhaps “reader” for “listener” does work, whatever is being read …. From Purity of Heart is To Will One Thing (Steere Translation, pp.180)

Alas, in regard to things spiritual, the foolishness of many is this, that they in the secular sense look upon the speaker as an actor, and the listeners as theater goers who are to pass judgment upon the artist. But the speaker is not the actor — not in the remotest sense. No, the speaker is the prompter. There are no mere theatergoers present, for each listener will be looking into his own heart. The stage is eternity, and the listener, if he is the true listener (and if not, he is at fault) stands before god during the talk. The prompter whispers to the actor what he is to say, but the actor’s repetition of it is the main concern — is the solemn charm of the art. The speaker whispers the word to the listeners. But the main conern is earnestness: that the listeners by themselves, with themselves, and to themselves, in the silence before God, may speak with the help of this address.


December 21, 2012

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Chicken” in Karamazov, soul idea

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December 21, 2012

Craton garth loquat adonai

December 20, 2012

contrafactum decrescent prelusivecalpe

December 19, 2012

itai-itai gorilla dust hibernaculum

December 18, 2012

Pawky Joint Sthène Megalonyx Aloadae

December 17, 2012

Anguilla rostrata Stan Getz Italus

December 16, 2012

chiliastic copepod disparition insult (et.)

December 15, 2012

diatomaceous earth Ungaretti euerie aphesis

December 14, 2012

Chicxulub crater La Garita Caldera Toba

December 13, 2012

Lakshadweep Federal Hill amaranth in poetry Bricker Amendment