One of the things I love about blogging is what Jill over on My Individual Take calls the trail of breadcrumbs.
Last November she picked up a post from "Lorcan Dempsey who saw it on William Gibson's blog who had kiped it from Boing-Boing who'd grabbed it from Michael Leddy who had heard it on KCRW Radio." Jill posted it and I liked it and so here it is. Zadie Smith said it:
"But the problem with readers, the idea we’re given of reading is that the model of a reader is the person watching a film, or watching television. So the greatest principle is, 'I should sit here and I should be entertained.' And the more classical model, which has been completely taken away, is the idea of a reader as an amateur musician. An amateur musician who sits at the piano, has a piece of music, which is the work, made by somebody they don’t know, who they probably couldn’t comprehend entirely, and they have to use their skills to play this piece of music. The greater the skill, the greater the gift that you give the artist and that the artist gives you. That’s the incredibly unfashionable idea of reading. And yet when you practice reading, and you work at a text, it can only give you what you put into it. It’s an old moral, but it’s completely true."