reading trust

As I was reviewing the note I posted on my reading progress, realized that there was yet another piece of my effort to read more/better that I failed to cover there, but it's substantive enough to merit it's own post. The issue? Trust.

I was having a conversation with H. the other day, about reading and how we often find texts difficult to read when it seems like other people have a much easier time reading. Which is kind of funny because we both derive a large part of our self-identity (if not income) from our writing and we both read a lot.

One thing I suggested in the course of that conversation which I had theretofore not properly articulate was that I found writing difficult because I've read a lot of difficult stuff around the edges of philosophy and theory that are pretty complex where every word is (seemingly) meaningful. In the process of learning how to read this I've learned to not trust myself to understand the words and sentences, to be wary of authorial intentions, and to be afraid of missing important details.

Which is, as you might imagine, not that easy. And it requires slow reflexive reading. So it sort of feels like you're not reading something as much as you are watching yourself read something.

So my new goal, is not to read faster, I guess, but rather to read less reflexively. To trust that texts have some sort of intentional order that I can understand, and then trust myself to be able to grasp the gestalt of a text (and to read it a second time if I need to,) without supervision or self-monitoring.

At least some of the time.

comments powered by Disqus