https://bobostory.wordpress.com List

  • 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCXCVII) - [image: 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCXCVII)] 1. NYC Cab Driver Spends 30 Years Photographing His Passengers In 1980, aspiring photograp...
    2 hours ago
  • 包錯石訃告 - (來源:Kin Wai Lau臉書二O一八年七月廿一日,同日刊於《信報》。) (來源:陸離臉書二O一八年七月廿二日)
    11 hours ago
  • 夏日水果 - 夏天,來日本的最大收穫是買水果。 我們吃完岡山最好最成熟的白桃之後,到桃園的小賣店,可先訂好,到時送到機場,包 […]
    11 hours ago
  • Greetings from Twin Peaks (pictures & a small status update) - Last week I had the exciting opportunity to travel to Snoqualmie, North Bend, and Fall City, Washington for the first time. My cousin and I visited the f...
    17 hours ago
  • 關於《劉以鬯全集》的建議 - 《失去的愛情》書影 《幸福》雜誌內的《失去的愛情》 《差半車麥稭》 孫毓棠的信 六月八日下午,我們:鄭明仁、陳 … 繼續閱覽 關於《劉以鬯全集》的建議
    1 day ago
  • 巴金的明星效應──讀周立民有感 - 巴金1984年10月中至11月訪問香港,接受中文大學授予榮譽博士學位。周立民說, … 繼續閱讀 →
    1 week ago
  • 巴金的明星效應──讀周立民有感 - 巴金1984年10月中至11月訪問香港,接受中文大學授予榮譽博士學位。周立民說,巴金在香港引起了明星般的效應。但他視線所限,只引述了香港《文匯報》和《大公報》的新聞;而對香港情況稍有認識的,都知道這兩份報章銷量有限,沒有甚麼代表性。倘若他願意又有機會多參考其他報章,答案可能不一樣:巴金訪港,並不十分轟動。 ...
    1 week ago
  • Video: Economic Update: Criticizing Capitalism. Prof. Richard Wolff interviews David Harvey. - Economic Update: Criticizing Capitalism. Prof. Richard D. Wolff interviews David Harvey. Democracy at Work July 4, 2018 In this episode of Economic Update,...
    2 weeks ago
  • 采銅于山,照見日影 - 采銅于山,照見日影 讀《日影之舞》讓我想起明末清初學者顧炎武(1613—1682):「嘗謂今人纂輯之書,正如今人之鑄錢。古人采铜于山,今人則買舊錢,名之曰廢銅,以充鑄而已。所鑄之錢,既已粗惡,而又將古人傳世之寶,舂銼碎散,不存于後,豈不兩失之乎?承詢《日知錄》又成幾卷,蓋期之以廢銅,而某自别來一...
    3 weeks ago
  • 楊國雄、古兆申(古蒼梧)、馮偉才、也斯、黃俊東、劉以鬯、小思、李文健(杜漸)、黃繼持一九八六年照片 - 馮偉才: 小思和楊國雄的文章都提過香港文學研究會的成立經過。在舊物中找到這張照片,後面寫著:「香港文學研究會成立日」。 左起楊國雄、古兆申、馮偉才、也斯、黃俊東、劉以鬯、小思、李文健(杜漸)、黃繼持。 (香港文學研究會於1986年9月成立。劉以鬯、黄繼持任正副會長,小思任秘書長。但這個會之後並沒有官方活...
    1 month ago
  • 翻译:阿甘本《论可说之物和观念》5-7 - 5.短语“物自体”出现在柏拉图的《信札七》(*Settima lettera* )的一个关键段落中,我们长期以来忽视了这个文本对哲学史的影响力。塞克斯都·恩披里柯在斯多葛学派与《信札七》中的哲学话题之间做了一个比较,其中的亲缘关系昭然若揭。为了让人心服口服,我们在这里引用一下这段哲学话题的文本: 对于...
    2 months ago
  • 杭寧遊記 - 我的藏書裡有二部古籍和西湖相關,一是《御覽西湖志纂》,一是《西湖志》。
    2 months ago
  • Travel (驛馬) - 驛馬犯流年,十八個月三級跳升,在飛機上睡的時間比上床睡的時間還多。 今天工作需要的,已不再是知識與經驗,而是體力而已!
    3 months ago
  • 蘇賡哲:城寨和大學 - 12月5日多倫多明報 據説日本人最喜歡的香港特色地區是已消失了的九龍城寨,改建成公園已久,他們仍出版一本又一本追憶書籍。 以前家在九龍城賈炳達道,城寨自然也是熟悉的。所謂三不管黃、賭、毒集中地,髒亂無序不難想像。中共智囊強世功稱之為「一切人類道德所鄙視的東西,在這裏可以合法存在」。其實這話是有語病的,因...
    7 months ago
  • 釐清香港議員取消資格案的法律概念:又名「跳出跳入打我呀笨蛋」然後被打 - 好多人真的不懂法律又要講法律。又有好多人以為只有香港才會有「人大釋法」。任何一個 … 繼續閱讀 →
    1 year ago
  • 照顧與創作 - 月前為谷淑美的攝影詩文集《流光.時黑》做了中文部分的編輯工作,實在因為是一種唇亡齒寒感。谷淑美的書,是關於她照顧年老患病的母親,過程中進而對母親生命、自己生命的發掘,轉化為攝影與文字創作。自己進入中年,身體開始變差,也進一步想到將來要照顧家人的責任,暗暗畏懼其龐大。於是,也就想通過進入谷淑美的歷程,讓自己學...
    1 year ago
  • - 暗夜小巴像搖骰,我們每個橫切面都刻了字,不知我們在終站會變成甚麼。或者是上帝,或者是狗。或者倒轉的日歷。紙張一天一天倒著依附,雨中有人望過來問:為甚麼不可以?聽到問題的人,心裡又虛又慌,因為撇除了時日的制裁,也沒有多麼費力。耗費也是不足夠的。如果真的有努力過的話,根本不會站在這裡。喂,他其實一早...
    1 year ago
  • 《別字》試刊號第二期出版﹗ - 立即下載:《別字》試刊號第二期 《字花》的網上純創作誌《別字》登場了! 「別字」一名,既有別冊之意,更寄望透過網上平台,另闢傳播門徑,開拓閱讀體驗。 暫定三個欄目,「透光」的作品從自由投稿中特別挑選,「有時」配合《字花》徵稿或另設新題,「極限」則專載萬字長篇。 試刊號第二期,以PDF形式呈現,供各位下載...
    1 year ago
  • - 今晚和倩去百老匯看Antiporno. 如果這部片子要跟誰一起看,我只要她,不然就自己看。獨自欣賞是至高享受,看電影聽音樂於我不是社交活動,我最厭煩聽完即討論,太嘈雜。 倩是有negative capability的女孩。夜晚我們走在公園,一陣風吹過,樹葉沙沙作響,她會由衷感歎:風的聲音真好聽,然後我們沉默...
    1 year ago
  • 南海十三郎 - 南海十三郎是上一代粵劇界的傳奇人物,他創作力強,是個多產編劇家,在上世紀三、四十年代編寫超過百齣粵劇劇目,還攝製導演過好幾部粵劇電影。他本名江譽鏐,是前清末翰林江孔殷霞公的兒子。江孔殷是晚清最後一屆科舉進士,曾進翰林院,故又被稱為江太史。江孔殷由翰林院辭官後歸粵,居住廣州,以廣東地方士紳名流身份活躍,與友儕名人文...
    1 year ago
  • “舔舐自己的生命,仿佛那是一颗麦芽糖” - ​ “舔舐自己的生命,仿佛那是一颗麦芽糖” 顾文豪 1、《加缪手记》 加缪 浙江大学出版社·启真馆 如果在接下来的两个月里,没有特别巨大的阅读惊喜的话,我想三册的《加缪手记》,将会成为我今年的阅读首选。 从1935年5月到1942年2月,《手记》记录了加缪的读书杂感、生活随想、情感波动,以及写作...
    1 year ago
  • 酒足飯飽。酣然入夢——江戶子的老派追求 - 東京適合散步。出了名的散步文士,堪稱達人者有二:二次大戰前,搞不定老婆,不想吵,遂攜著一把蝙蝠傘,四處趴趴走的永井荷風;戰後,老婆、老母擺得一平二穩,隨身帶著幾張江戶古地圖,這邊那邊亂亂踅的池波正太郎。 *正港的江戶子* 池波是正港的「江戶子」,淺草出身,愛玩愛熱鬧愛美食。父母親很早離異,跟著...
    2 years ago
  • 乌托邦遗迹 - [image: uploads/201510/18_114414_s1.1973peterderret.jpg] [水瓶节,宁宾,1973年。摄影:Peter Derret] 乌托邦遗迹 欧宁 宁宾(Nimbin)是澳大利亚新南威尔士东北部山区的一个小镇,因1973年举办水瓶节(Aquarius Fes...
    2 years ago
  • 「馬拉松 看世界」專頁 向世界馬拉松出發 - 如無意外,本周日我應該身在三藩巿,跑今年第五個外國比賽,也是人生第三十個馬拉松比賽(廿九個在香港以外)。雖然Blog有好一段日子沒有update,但跑步仍是繼續下去,這兩年尤其多,也去了俄羅斯、澳洲這些新國家、新大陸跑,是另一個飛躍期。 這些年的跑馬路上,有幸認識一些志同道合、見識廣博、洞察力強、對比賽有要...
    3 years ago
  • 烏蘭巴托的夜 - 《烏蘭巴托的夜》是首蒙古歌曲。蒙古的作曲家寫的,賈樟柯重新填了詞,左小祖咒改編,電影《世界》插曲(湖南台的字幕打錯了)。左小原版的就好聽,他少有的比較「正經」地演唱。譚版也不錯,大氣,聲情並茂。 左小改編演唱的《烏蘭巴托的夜》 賈樟柯電影片斷(趙濤演唱) 蒙古族樂隊杭蓋的版本 烏蘭巴托的夜 作詞:賈樟...
    3 years ago
  • 莉娜骑士在盘子上 - 1874年12月25日,一个女孩诞生在罗马北部小城维泰博的贫民窟,迷信说,这一天诞生的人有特别的命运,父母为她取名“娜塔莉娜”(Natalina ),因为“natale”是意大利语里的“圣诞节”。12 岁开始,她当过卖花姑娘、包装女工,生活虽然贫寒,好在她天赋歌喉,每天从早唱到晚。邻居一个音乐教师给她上...
    3 years ago
  • 欲望的事故 - *欲望的事故 顾文豪 * 特里林在《知性乃道德职责》一书中引述亚里士多德关于悲剧的定义,认为悲剧的主人公具有某种程度的、可进行自由选择的可能性,他“必须通过自己的道德状况来为自己的命运进行辩解”,而其道德状况并非十全十美,也非一无是处,其中“有某种特定的错误使得这份错误与命运一起导致了个体的毁灭”。由此使得...
    4 years ago
  • 欲望的事故 - 欲望的事故 顾文豪 特里林在《知性乃道德职责》一书中引述亚里士多德关于悲剧的定义,认为悲剧的主人公具有某种程度的、可进行自由选择的可能性,他“必须通过自己的道德状况来为自己的命运进行辩解”,而其道德状况并非十全十... *博客大巴,你的个人传媒早班车*
    4 years ago
  • 給《明報》 - 一口答應寫一篇給《明報》,箇中心情,猶如「償還」。 明明我沒有欠這報甚麼,稿債沒有,瓜葛沒有。 都是人情吧。多老套。 這些年來,跟《明報》的這些年來,救命,怎麼細數。 第一次認真寫稿刊登,已是2003年的事了。正是馬家輝博士邀請,給世紀版寫一篇關於「網上飄流的香港家書」。(私人回憶:先生有份跟我寫的。)一年過...
    4 years ago
  • 那一身華美的曲線 - [image: 那一身華美的曲線] 她就站在落地窗邊,回眸對我笑了笑。我沒說話,什麼話都不想說。能說什麼呢?在她的笑容裏早就透露了對我些微的輕視:你總歸只能沈默吧!她似乎視我的沈默為一種必然的結果,像是看透我的一切。其實,我想了想,和她也不過就一面之緣。甚至在之後的好長一段時間再見到她,她根本就不記得我。自然,要...
    4 years ago
  • 偶然的發現 - 很久沒在facebook上看到湯正川的post,早上偶然看到他與另一DJ的對談,發現這首歌,先放上來,待電腦回復正常,再仔細欣賞。
    5 years ago
  • - *Chapeau...!*Cock your hat - angles are attitudes (Sinatra) By Heinz Decker Hats seem to stimulate the imagination; maybe because they are a prolongatio...
    5 years ago
  • 閱讀讓我質疑制度 - [本訪問稿乃〈不可能所有的真實都出現在你的攝影機前──賈樟柯、杜海濱訪談〉的第一部份。訪問稿全文網上版見以下網頁: http://leftfilm.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/jiaduinterview1/ http://leftfilm.wordpress.com/2012/07/17...
    5 years ago
  • 蜚聲卓越在書林──蘇州文育山房 - 蘇州的氣候溫潤,步調舒緩,水道與巷弄縱橫交錯,教人一來到此便安下心來。城裡的平江街區,從宋代便已經存在,以今日留存的巷弄來看,八百年來的格局規劃變化並不大,只是範圍縮小許多。而就在這僅存的街區裡,留下的不只是悠悠時光,亦有不少哲人賢士駐守的痕跡。書癡黃丕烈的百宋一廛、史學家顧頡剛的顧氏花園、清代狀元洪...
    6 years ago
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    6 years ago
  • 《辩论中国模式》(【读品】110辑·荐书·经济) - 丁学良 著,《辩论中国模式》,社科文献出版社,2011年1月,35.00元。 当前世界,经济的影响力与日倍增。伴随着中国经济三十年高速发展,中国GDP 最近终于超越日本,昂然迈入全球第二行列。与此同时,关于中国社会、政治、经济等等领域的研究也层出不穷,浪头潮流几经变故,从最初的“中国崩溃论”...
    7 years ago
  • V城系列明信片 - 圖:by 智海 and 楊智恆
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    9 years ago

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read


by 
“Non-reading is not just the absence of reading. It is a genuine activity, one that consists of adopting a stance in relation to the immense tide of books that protects you from drowning. On that basis, it deserves to be defended and even taught.”
At first blush, a book titled How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read (public library) sounds at once sacrilegious in its proposition and wildly meta-ironic. Then again, it gets to the heart of a painfully familiar literary bind — that book about a fascinating sliver of science, written by a breathlessly boring academic; the fetishized Ulysseses of the world, reluctantly half-read and promptly forgotten; the Gladwellian tome that could’ve been, should’ve been, and likely at some point was a magazine article. Must we read those from cover to cover in order to be complete, cultured individuals?
Beneath the no doubt intentionally scandalizing title, psychoanalyst and University of Paris literature professorPierre Bayard offers a compelling meditation on this taboo subject that makes a case for reading not as a categorical dichotomy but as a spectrum of engaging with literature in various ways, along different dimensions — books we’ve read, books we’ve skimmed, books we’ve heard about, books we’ve forgotten, books we’ve never opened. Literature becomes not a container of absolute knowledge but a compass for orienteering ourselves to and in the world and its different contexts, books become not isolated objects but a system of relational understanding:
As cultivated people know (and, to their misfortune, uncultivated people do not), culture is above all a matter oforientation. Being cultivated is a matter not of having read any book in particular, but of being able to find your bearings within books as a system, which requires you to know that they form a system and to be able to locate each element in relation to the others. The interior of the book is less important than its exterior, or, if you prefer, the interior of the book is its exterior, since what counts in a book is the books alongside it.
But our culture, argues Bayard, is wrought with “obligations and prohibitions” that have created a repressive system full of hypocrisy about what books we have actually read — and our lies tend to be in proportion to the perceived significance of the book in question. “I know few areas of private life, with the exception of finance and sex,” he quips, “in which it’s as difficult to obtain accurate information.”
So how, then, do we navigate that system and its burden of expectations?
A book is an element in the vast ensemble I have called thecollective library, which we do not need to know comprehensively in order to appreciate any one of its elements… The trick is to define the book’s place in that library, which gives it meaning in the same way a word takes on meaning in relation to other words.
To engage with literature — and, by extension, with the world — in meaningful ways, argues Bayard, we need to understand the relationships between works and their position relative to each other within the collective library:
Rather than any particular book, it is indeed these connections and correlations that should be the focus of the cultivated individual, much as a railroad switchman should focus on the relations between trains — that is, their crossings and transfers — rather than the contents of any specific convoy.
Of particular note is Bayard’s conception of non-reading as a kind of curatorial choice every bit as indicative of our intellectual curiosity as the choice of reading:
Non-reading is not just the absence of reading. It is a genuine activity, one that consists of adopting a stance in relation to the immense tide of books that protects you from drowning. On that basis, it deserves to be defended and even taught.
As a proponent of codifying our transparency about information, I was particularly delighted by Bayard’s proposed notation system for the different levels of non-reading and subjective interpretation:
UB book unknown to me
SB book I have skimmed
HB book I have heard about
FB book I have forgotten
++ extremely positive opinion
+ positive opinion
- negative opinion
 extremely negative opinion
Citing Umberto Eco, Bayard observes:
The book is an undefined object that we can discuss only in imprecise terms, an object forever buffeted by our fantasies and illusions. The second volume of Aristotle’s Poetics, impossible to find even in a library of infinite capacity, is no different from most other books we discuss in our lives. They are all reconstructions of originals that lie so deeply buried beneath our words and the words of others that, even were we prepared to risk our lives, we stand little chance of ever finding them within reach.
Bayard points out that one dimension of reading we often forget is that of time — a dimension inextricably linked to the biases, imperfections, and limited capacity of our memory, to which even the most dedicated of readers aren’t immune — furthering the portrait of reading by way of the intellectual negative space around it:
Reading is not just acquainting ourselves with a text or acquiring knowledge; it is also, from its first moments, an inevitable process of forgetting.
[…]
To conceive of reading as loss — whether it occurs after we skim a book, in absorbing a book by hearsay, or through the gradual process of forgetting—rather than as gain is a psychological resource essential to anyone seeking effective strategies for surviving awkward literary confrontations.
Echoing William Gibson’s notion of personal microculture and Austin Kleon’s insight that “you are a mashup of what you let into your life,” Bayard puts it beautifully:
In truth we never talk about a book unto itself; a whole set of books always enters the discussion through the portal of a single title, which serves as a temporary symbol for a complete conception of culture. In every such discussion, our inner libraries — built within us over the years and housing all our secret books — come into contact with the inner libraries of others, potentially provoking all manner of friction and conflict.
For we are more than simple shelters for our inner libraries; we are the sum of these accumulated books. Little by little, these books have made us who we are, and they cannot be separated from us without causing us suffering.
Having once fallen in love with someone who heartily recommended to me a terrible piece of fiction, only to find out after a series of more tangible disappointments that we were wildly incompatible, I can’t help but nod wistfully at Bayard’s observation:
The books we love offer a sketch of a whole universe that we secretly inhabit, and in which we desire the other person to assume a role.
One of the conditions of happy romantic compatibility is, if not to have read the same books, to have read at least some books in common with the other person—which means, moreover, to have non-read the same books. From the beginning of the relationship, then, it is crucial to show that we can match the expectations of our beloved by making him or her sense the proximity of our inner libraries.
Bayard advocates for redefining our culture’s expectations of reading, away from the linear, the absolutist, and the unbudgingly comprehensive, and towards the nonlinear, the relativist, the selective:
To speak without shame about books we haven’t read, we would thus do well to free ourselves of the oppressive image of cultural literacy without gaps, as transmitted and imposed by family and school, for we can strive toward this image for a lifetime without ever managing to coincide with it. Truth destined for others is less important than truthfulness to ourselves, something attainable only by those who free themselves from the obligation to seem cultivated, which tyrannizes us from within and prevents us from being ourselves.
[…]
Only in accepting our non-reading without shame can we begin to take an interest in what is actually at stake, which is not a book but a complex interpersonal situation of which the book is less the object than the consequence.
Some of Bayard’s opinions, particularly in defending the idea that we’re somehow supposed to develop our own point of view not via critical thinking but by taking cue from the impressions of others, stand in stark contrast withmy own. He argues:
If a book is less a book than it is the whole of the discussion about it, we must pay attention to that discussion in order to talk about the book without reading it. For it is not the book itself that is at stake, but what it has become within the critical space in which it intervenes and is continually transformed. It is this moving object, a supple fabric of relations between texts and beings, about which one must be in a position to formulate accurate statements at the right moment.
Beneath the discussion of books, however, bubbles a larger discussion of information’s systems and paradigms of creation and consumption. In contrasting the networked knowledge and wealth of context necessary for criticism with the subjective expression at the heart of art, Bayard concludes:
Criticism demands infinitely more culture than artistic creation.
But Baynard’s keenest insight is perhaps this one, which has less to do with the social connotations of reading than with our individual experience of it:
The paradox of reading is that the path toward ourselves passes through books, but that this must remain a passage. It is a traversal of books that a good reader engages in — a reader who knows that every book is the bearer of part of himself and can give him access to it, if only he has the wisdom not to end his journey there.
So what is really at stake here, and why should any of it matter? Bayard offers in the epilogue:
Such an evolution implies extricating ourselves from a whole series of mostly unconscious taboos that burden our notion of books. Encouraged from our school years onward to think of books as untouchable objects, we feel guilty at the very thought of subjecting them to transformation.
It is necessary to lift these taboos to begin to truly listen to the infinitely mobile object that is a literary text. The text’s mobility is enhanced whenever it participates in a conversation or a written exchange, where it is animated by the subjectivity of each reader and his dialogue with others, and to genuinely listen to it implies developing a particular sensitivity to all the possibilities that the book takes on in such circumstances.
He ties it back to our broken formal education system:
Our educational system is clearly failing to fulfill its duties of deconsecration, and as a result, our students remain unable to claim the right to invent books. Paralyzed by the respect due to texts and the prohibition against modifying them, forced to learn them by heart or to memorize what they ‘contain,’ too many students lose their capacity for escape and forbid themselves to call on their imagination in circumstances where that faculty would be extraordinarily useful.
To show them, instead, that a book is reinvented with every reading would give them the means to emerge unscathed, and even with some benefit, from a multitude of difficult situations.
[…]
All education should strive to help those receiving it to gain enough freedom in relation to works of art to themselves become writers and artists.
Ultimately, How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read isn’t permission to dismiss books but an ode to the very love of books, the totality of which we use as a powerful sensemaking mechanism for the world.

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