"If we laugh at Miss Bates, we of course have done nothing wrong. We are not on the scene; we do not insult anybody. But we have briefly let amusement trump judgment, failing to make the kind of discrimination that Austen advocates and by subtle plot intricacies inculcates. Rereading, we are more likely to realize that even a smile involves us imaginatively in Emma's error. A crucial episode in Emma's moral education thus becomes an element in ours--and our education will continue through many rereadings. It is an education, one might say, in the substance of civilization: the feelings and attitudes necessary to support the behavior of civilized human beings, who avoid the barbarity of willfully hurting others."
Spacks, Patricia Meyer. On Rereading. P. 62. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011.
The multiple dimensions encountered in literary educations and experiences include the detection, definition, and internalization of social norms and manners. Such now strikes me as a thing dearly obtained.
Start off the web, for one thing, with leisured time, a peaceful room, a body content with its health and neutral state, and then the book, whichever one whose author, cover, and cachet have from the library shelf spoken to the reader.
Calls may be returned.
E-mail can wait.
Turn a page.
# # #