Re: RARA-AVIS: a few items and the short goodbye

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 21 Feb 2002

George U wrote:

> I guess what I'm saying is that we don't read books in
> a vacuum. We bring a context to our reading, and
> George (I guess I can call him "the other George" now
> that he won't be around to refute it) was adding to
> that context. I would be curious to see, if you ever
> went back and re-read the book, whether your reaction
> to it would change.
> G.
As usual, I guess I was being a little imprecise. I agree that the context is of interest but I still feel that knowing of Parker's personal tragedy wouldn't make the book a better read. It may explain why the book isn't up to (what I understand) is his usual standard but I doubt that it would make me feel that it's a better book than I originally thought it was. And I stand by my point that we should be able to discuss a book without reference to the author's personal life
(which is not to say that we have to ignore it, either). I agree that it is of academic interest and of interest in as much as we like to know about certain authors but you certainly can't find out about the personal life of every author before you read his/her work even if you wanted to.And you're going to have an opinion of the books you read even if you don't know anything about the author.I mean to say, how do we know that every crap book written doesn't have a personal tragedy behind it? Does it mean we should abandon having opinions on these books?


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