ATG Quirkies: How Much Do We Know About Books We Have Never Read?

by | Nov 6, 2017 | 0 comments

Here is a post about a unique skill that might be equally useful in the classroom and at a dinner party. 

It’s from the Paris Review and discusses a book entitled How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, by Pierre Bayard, a psychoanalyst and professor of literature. As the title implies, it offers advice on “how you can happily talk about a book you haven’t read, even to your students, even when it’s a book of extraordinary importance.”

And fortunately, Mr. Baynard’s calculation, while scientific, sounds quite straightforward. It seems to involve “knowing only the name (of the author) and something about the critical context, but without ever having read a word.”

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies.)


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