Lesen und Lebensalter

This tutoring is dialectical. Literature make us better noticers of life; we get to practice on life itself; which in turn makes us better readers of detail in literature; which in turn makes us better readers of life. And so on and on. You have only to teach literature to realize that most young readers are poor noticers. I know from my own old books, wantonly annotated twenty years ago when I was a student, that I routinely underlined for approval details and images and metaphors that strike me now as commonplace, while I serenely missing things that now seem wonderful. We grow, as readers, and twenty-year-olds are relative virgins. They not yet read enough literature to be taught by it how to read it.

James Wood: How Fiction Works

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