Marilynne Robinson om betydelsen av läsandet i den västerländska kulturen (med min kursivering), ur essäsamlingen The Death of Adam:

“Literacy became virtually universal in Western civilization when and where it began to seem essential for people to be able to read the Bible. All the immeasurable practical benefits that came with mass literacy, its spectacular utility, awaited this unworldly stimulus. Clearly mere utility is not sufficient to sustain it at even functional levels, though the penalties of illiteracy are now very severe. Reading, above the level of the simplest information, is an act of great inwardness and subjectivity, and this is why and how it had such profound meaning while it did – the soul encountered itself in its response to a text, first Genesis or Matthew and then Paradise Lost or Leaves of Grass. Great respect for the text and great respect for, and pleasure in, the reader’s subjectivity flourished together. Now they are disparaged together. Dickens must pass through a filter of specialists who can tell us what we must see when we read him. Neither his nor our singularity is of value, nor are we to imagine his spirit acting on ours.

Med vi tycks älska att frossa i våld- och mordgåtor (sk ”deckare”) där man en vecka efter man läst klart redan glömt vad boken handlade om efter som man är fullt upptagen att vända blad på nästa bok. Sannolikheten att man möter sin egen själ i denna form av litteratur känns inte jättestor…