The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Citation (69)

But discovering the presence of other readers, whether in the archive, the critical tradition, the pages of a manuscript, or the margins of a printed text can also feel like a violation of the seemingly exclusive bond between reader and text. The realization that someone has already had the response one has to a particular poem or passage can bring a pleasing sense of community, a glow of mutual understanding – or it can inspire panic, forcing a confrontation with the banal and predictable character of one’s inmost thoughts. By the same token, the discovery that someone else has read a poem or passage in an utterly different sense than oneself can yield exhilaration, amusement, delight, and fascination – or it can provoke incomprehension, irritation, insecurity, or shame.

—Catherine Nicholson (Reading and not Reading The Faerie Queene, p. 219)


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