- Francis Spufford, The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Quotable: The Child That Books Built
"Once books were sacred, literally: the regime of reading was set by the experience of reading scripture. But in the secular times of the last three centuries, which brought us printed words on every subject, print to screw into a ball and flip away after a single reading sometimes, the promise of revelation has splintered, and the splinters have fallen separately, without losing all of their original brightness. One smithereen (at least) has glimmered in the novel. With its conventions that mimic the three dimensions of the world off the page, and its simulation of time passing as measured by experience's ordinary clocks, we hope it can bring a fully uttered clarity to the living we do, which is, we know, so hard to disentangle and articulate."