Saturday, May 14, 2022

Codex to Cortex

Friedrich Nietzsche: The Dawn of Day

I have not been a philologist in vain—perhaps I am one yet: a teacher of slow reading. I even come to write slowly. At present it is not only my habit, but even my taste—a perverted taste, maybe—to write nothing but what will drive to despair every one who is “in a hurry.” For philology is that venerable art which exacts from its followers one thing above all—to step to one side, to leave themselves spare moments, to grow silent, to become slow—the leisurely art of the goldsmith applied to language: an art which must carry out slow, fine work, and attains nothing if not lento. 

I'm in the middle of Sean's new novel, and for the first time in God knows how long engaging with an actual physical readable object. Kindle and Audible have been my go-to-guys for too long, and I am rediscovering the lost and gentle art; slow reading of a thing. Idiosyncratically I think, the recumbent bike in the gym has been key. I do half an hour on it every coupla-three days; 'bout twenty mins reading a chapter of The Englishwoman, and then a last five-or-ten flicking back through it checking, pondering, depressurizing. Liber naturae anyone? Decorum est pro patria mori? Both from chapter three. I know what they mean now. Previously I have tended to read like I was binge-watching streaming TV and wouldn't have taken the time to chase them down. I am starting to realise that an old-school chewing-of-the cud after a chapter and before a new one is all to the good. Kindle and Audible don't encourage flicking back and forward.

We are embodied creatures.

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