2010/01/29

books are for reading...

So J.D. Salinger died some days ago, and though I didn't have to read the famous "The Catcher in the Rye", I do totally agree with his opinion that you shouldn't overinterprete books and their contents.
Though he had admitted later that the content was somehow very authentic to his own life ("My boyhood was very much the same as that of the boy in the book ... [I]t was a great relief telling people about it."), in one of the edition he made this dedication, showing grately, how much he must have hated the issue of being overly interpeted and discussed.

"If there is an inmature reader still left in the world or anybody who just read and runs, I ask him or her with untellable affection and gratidue to split the dedication of this book for ways with my wife and children."

Well, I do have to say, as much as I love reading books, from the easy reading section to the classics of all times, I hated to seperate sentences and passages to look into the deeper meaning, the interpretation behind those lines as thought by the author. Well, since we never can really tell, what the author had thought, nor if he did, if he was really telling the truth, I truly believe that this is taking the whole meaning of reading.
Though I have to admit that I cherish Michael Endes "Never Ending Story" as a philosophy of a world, which comes alive just by the reader, I also think, it is so much the reader, who creates this world in his mind. So this will never be the same world, the author had intended nor is that needed.
The author creates the setting, I make it come to life by reading it, and I create my own version of this world.
I'm pretty sure, if we stop discussing every single line of "Faust" or "Othello", more would probably appreaciate those incredible works of fantasy and fiction, the words and the imagination, that lies behind.
I try to read one classic each semester (half a year) without too much pressure. So what, if I miss a metapher; so what, if I miss one quotation; but I do appricate and enjoy the words so much more, if i can absorb the world and explore it by my own.

So rest in peace, mr. j.d. salinger, and though I might not had the imponderable joy of interpretating your book in any of my school days, I do cherish the dedciation very much, and those will always be leading me, when I open any book.

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