For me, the word writing is the exact opposite of the word waiting. Instead of waiting, there is writing. Well, I’m probably wrong — it’s possible that writing is another form of waiting, of delaying things. I’d like to think otherwise. … The truth is, reading is always more important than writing.
He has [read] himself to pieces.
Adapted from Elias Canetti.
Quote with 76 notes
On these occasions I read quickly, voraciously, almost skimming, trying to get as much into my head as possible before the next long starvation. If it were eating it would be gluttony of the famished; if it were sex it would be a swift furtive stand-up in an alley somewhere.
Books are finite, sexual encounters are finite, but the desire to read and to fuck is infinite; it surpasses our own deaths, our fears, our hopes for peace.
What is there of Desire in reading? Desire cannot be named, not even (unlike Demand) expressed. Yet it is certain that there is an eroticism of reading (in reading, desire is there with its object, which is the definition of eroticism). Of this eroticism of reading, there is perhaps no purer apologue than that episode in Proust’s novel where the young Narrator shuts himself up in the Combray bathroom in order to read…
Thus, a desiring reading appears, marked with two institutive features. By shutting himself up to read, by making reading into an absolutely separated, clandestine state in which the whole world is abolished, the reader is identified with two other human subjects—actually quite close to each other—whose state also requires a violent separation: the amorous subject and the mystic subject.
As the vowels and consonants of an alphabet interact symbolically to make a certain written word, so writer and reader bring together two halves of one meaning, so lover and beloved are matched together like two sides of one knucklebone. An intimate collusion occurs.
W.B. Yeats by Jillian Tamaki
Illustrirte Zeitung, 1930
From Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin
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