Sunday, May 18, 2008

'At the heart of daily punishment and sufferings, in the very wheels of encroaching mediocrity, are found both the keys and the doors to inner worlds'

This passed me by, but is very apposite to recent book-as-portal discussion: Jon Savage, last week, on Ian Curtis' reading habits, and W-C intellectuals in postpunk; the general unashamed bookishness that was not far from the norm before the setting in of the war against intelligence.


Blogger emmy hennings said...

Damn! Thanks for uncovering this, Owen. Wish I'd read it before I delivered my paper last Friday. I really should get this post up before the train leaves the station, shouldn't I?

"...but then he above all knew how words and books worked as a threshold into other dimensions." Excellent.

Makes for melancholy reflection too on the changing price of books, and how this has had a negative impact on the autodidact impulse. If Allen Lane set up Penguin as a way of distributing cheap books to a mass market, then he might be very disappointed to know that yr average Penguin paperback sells (over here, anyway) for about $25. The only ones that are cheap(ish) are the "classics" where no copyright or literary estate remains to be paid - yr Homers, Ovids, etc. 50p! One can only dream of a future where books are no longer priced as if they constitute a middle class "luxury".

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