I am a reading bigot (see my Rules and Myths as an example) so here is another view on reading with some room for further exposure to reading theories.
On the first day of my reading classes, I tell my students:
“If you cannot picture it, you are not reading it.”
Well, Peter Mendelsund, associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf, disagrees with me in many respects.
In his book, What We See When We Read, Mendelsund attempts to convince the reader that visual images of the reading process are limited, misleading, and even non-existent. I would like to highlight some of his key points from the first half of the book and critique/comment on them one-by-one.
“You may feel intimately acquainted with a character…but this doesn’t mean you are actually picturing a person” (16).
Mendelsund argues that even though the author may focus the reader’s attention on several key physical traits of a character, none of us have a clear mental representation of that character. If we do, it is often either a copy…
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