Sunday, April 15, 2007

On the "Overpraising" of Long Books

E. M. Forster's Commonplace Book was a kind of diary he kept for over 40 years. Not surprisingly, it makes for very interesting reading even for those, like myself, who are not particularly fond of Forster's other published works.

Here, for instance, is one of his reflections I find especially amusing...and all too applicable to many of my own reading experiences.

1926: Clarissa Harlowe. Have read 1/3 of. Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time. cf. St. Paul's argument for immortality. Certainly I am bored. . . .